And another thing...

Word up: You've probably said it hundreds of times, so you might be glad to know that 'google' is officially a verb. The latest edition of Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary will include the word, along with 100 or so other new entries, when it is released this fall. The dictionary's editors lowercased the word as a verb to avoid infringing on Google Inc.'s trademark, as they did years ago with 'xerox,' meaning to make photocopies. So, while many, many people google using Google, you can also google someone or something using another search engine.

In recent years, IT has had a heavy influence on Merriam-Webster's updates. This year is no different, with the addition of 'mouse potato' (a PC-user version of a couch potato), 'ringtone' and 'spyware.'

Meanwhile, it's irresistible, if futile, to point several omissions out to some of our friends on the government IT rubber-chicken circuit:

'Transition' is still NOT a verb. Thank you.

'Agnostic' still describes a person who believes the human mind is incapable of knowing, for certain, that there is a God or anything beyond the material world. It can be used metaphorically along those lines, but being agnostic does not mean, and never has meant, that you will accept everything or work with anything. People who tout their products as 'software agnostic' probably don't mean that the product cannot comprehend software (though sometimes it works out that way). It would be better to say 'software catholic' (lowercase c), or 'software universal,' if they mean it can work with multiple operating systems or applications, or 'software independent' if they mean the product operates separately from OSes and applications.

To the best of our knowledge, 'incentivize,' 'solutionable,' 'to architect' and their brethren remain what they have been: mutations better used in parodies of bureaucrats or corporate drones, rather than by real people. And what's with 'high dollar' as an adjective? Makes no cents.

Give us the word at [email protected].


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