Edward Kasner, with the help of his nephew, Milton Sirotta, coined the term googol. We all know it now to be 10100. Kasner’s relatives are supposedly upset that everyone’s favorite search engine Google is making money of the word he coined. Peri Fleisher, Kasner’s great-neice, is appearently talking to NPR and anyone who will listen about this injustice.
First note, in that second article, I love this quote: “I had heard of Google in 1988 before most people were aware of it. I didn’t know if the company was going to take off or not.” (Emphasis mine.) I’m sure this is a typing mistake, but its still funny to me.
Second note, this seems really silly to me. I guess the controversy comes to these two points: 1) In Google’s favor, Google spelled it differently. 2) In the family’s favor Google acknowledges that they based their name on this term, but doing a play on the word. The family might have some merit, but once a word is released into the lexicon for general use, its too late. Especially a seemlingly general term like googol. Unless you’ve trademarked it and defend that trademark, or something like that.
Seems like a lot of sour grapes to me.