The word ‘Google’ has been widely embraced by the English speaking world as a de facto verb for internet searches. When you want to find something out online, you don’t search for it; you “google” it. But what about Microsoft’s rival search engine Bing? Over the past few days, I’ve been asking friends, family and co-workers to ‘Bing’ search queries for me. Here’s a transcription of some of their reactions…
The following conversations took place at home, at work and over the phone between the 20th of April and the 2nd of May:
Jillian (AKA the wife)
Me: Are you online at the moment?
Jillian: Yeah, do you need the computer? I’m just finishing this research [for my] uni assignment.
Me: Can you Bing the capital of Romania for me?
Jillian: …Can I what?
Me: I said can you Bing the capital of Romania for me?
Jillian: What is bing?
James (AKA the friend)
Me: …also, did you want to see Iron Man 3 this week?
James: Maybe, what day were you thinking?
Me: Not sure. Did you want to Bing the session times for us?
James: …Did you just say “Bing the session times”?
Me: Yeah. Y’know, like, find ‘em out online.
James: Yeah I get it, but why say Bing? That’s retarded.
Danny (AKA the boss)
Danny: Hey Chris, do you have a contact number for [redacted]?”
Me: No. Would you like me to Bing it for you?
Danny: [Slight facial spasm] Um, no, that’s okay.
Serge (AKA the dad)
Serge: [reading from a newspaper knowledge test] What colour is Queensland’s floral emblem?
Me: I think it’s red. Did you want me to Bing it on my phone?
Serge: What’s a bing?
And there you have it. According to this small-scale and rather silly experiment, Bing has a long way to go before it enters the English vernacular. Was Bing too late to the party? Does it not possess a large enough user-base? Or is it simply lacking the required pizzazz to pull off the noun-to-verb transformation? Perhaps somebody should Wolfram Alpha this conundrum to see if there are any answers…