Tuesday, March 08, 2005
TO VERB, OR NOT TO VERB? IN NETROSPECT, THE ANSWER'S CLEAR
You may have noticed how Yahoo uses the slogan "Do you Yahoo?".
I see it at the bottom of many a friend's emails.
This is a cute idea, using your brand name as a verb.
Unfortunately, no one does this, verbally.
When was the last time you heard of someone Yahooing someone they just met?
No, alas, it is GOOGLE that has become the verb.
Even though, as far as I know, they don't tout the verb verbiage in their marketing.
The irony seems doubly interesting here.
First, Yahoo tries to verbify themselves, but doesn't; Google doesn't try, yet does.
Second, Yahoo may have become exactly what their name stands for.
It could be a gameshow question:
"What does Yahoo stand for?"
"Yet Another Hierarchical Officious Oracle" -- or "Yet Another Hypertext Online Organiser", or something like that, depending on who you ask. (These two are from businessballs.com, who also say that Yahoo founders Yang and Filo only chose the YA part of the acronym, then picked the word Yahoo when it leapt out of the dictionary at them). Point is, Yahoo has, in some ways, become "Yet Another" search engine to a lot of people, ever since the meteoric rise of Google.
And how did I find out what YAHOO stands for?
I Googled it.