Do names matter?

I wrote this post a few days ago because I thought Google did a smart thing in changing the name “Google Print” to “Google Book Search.” They took a questionable name with implications of availability and turned into a name that focuses on finding, not getting.

Last Saturday, I added an update because I saw two or three library bloggers calling the service “Google Books.” (I didn’t link to any one because it wasn’t just one.)

I’m seeing more of that today. Oh, and one of those who’d done it originally seems to feel that “Book Search” is too many syllables for a Google service. (I wonder what this person calls Google Scholar? Google Schol?)

I would leave well enough alone, except that this particular blogger also very much identifies herself as a Writer.

I believe that if I thought of myself as a Writer, I would also be sensitive to the importance of word choice–and to the desirability of respecting others’ choice of words and names.

Heck, I don’t think of myself as a Writer first and foremost–but I care about the language enough to recognize that there’s a huge difference between “Books” and “Book Search,” and that it’s not likely an accidental choice on Google’s part.

I suppose that, as Martin Luther didn’t say, it all depends whose intentions are being ignored.

3 Responses to “Do names matter?”

  1. WoW!ter says:

    Didn’t you see the name of Schoogle already. From day one of the Google Scholar launch the official logo was available already. Have a look at our library newsletter (in English)

  2. walt says:

    I had been spared that particular neologism, for which I can only be grateful.