If you’re like me, you use the term Gchat regularly as both a noun and verb, as in “I went invisible to avoid him on Gchat yesterday” or “Hey, let’s Gchat!”
I’m not the only one.
The term is used often by the media, developers and, quite frankly, just about everyone who has ever used it. That’s why I was surprised to learn that it’s not an official Google term. In fact, the company hasn’t even trademarked it, according to the New York Observer.
When Observer reporter Adrianne Jeffries asked Google what people should call the popular instant messaging service, someone at the company directed her to this page and informed her that the preferred term is Google Talk. Google Chat is also acceptable, but apparently Gchat, used most often in conjunction with Gmail, is unacceptable.
This reminds me when I was an editor at my college newspaper and Google sent us an email asking us not to use the word Google as a verb. How did that turn out? Merriam-Webster defines the word Google as “to use the Google search engine to obtain information about (as a person) on the World Wide Web.”
That’s right, the users of the World Wide Web eventually got their way. Don’t fight this Google. Everyone uses the term Gchat. Don’t believe me? Google it.