Collins English Dictionary’s big publicity stunt
The Collins English Dictionary lost all authority earlier this week when it announced that Twitter (both as a noun and a verb), Twitterati, and Twitterverse will become entries alongside such conventional and long-established terminology as ‘Google.’
I guess I missed the memo that announced when company names became dictionary-worthy material. I’d start a petition but I think I’m going to wait for somebody else to do it. I don’t want to be that guy.
But I will take an anti-Collins Dictionary stance on this one. Just because the word Twitter is used in the day-to-day language of many industries (many industries referring to the internet marketers and mainstream media pundits who actually believe it’s the next big thing) does not mean it deserves an entry in a dictionary (even a less-renowned dictionary).
This is almost undeniably a well-played PR stunt that carries not only implications on the quality of HarperCollins as a publisher but also possible consequences to the Twitter brand name.
Outside of the (slim) possibility of brand genericide – which could eventually lead to Twitter losing its trademark rights – this solidifies the company’s choke-hold on the (downright unpopular) wider world of microblogging. Furthermore, it’s assuming that Twitter is still going to exist in its current form in the long run.
Remember when MySpace became a media sensation? Obviously, journalists (and investors) assumed that because of its massive audience, it was going to remain the most prominent social network for years to come. Now MySpace serves primarily as a big billboard for Sacha Baron Cohen’s third of three “foreign weirdo” personalities. I’m just glad Collins English Dictionary didn’t make MySpace a noun and verb.