Google Says ‘Gchat’ Is Not a Word

Ubiquitous noun/verb is totally unofficial.

The term “Gchat” is used by everyone from you and your friends, to the bloggers at the New York Times, and, perhaps a little too often, in the pages the New York Observer. A recent cover story in New York magazine, “The Kids Are (Sort Of) All Right,” conceived to be an authoritative portrait of the millenial generation, opens with the author Gchatting her sister and excerpts no fewer than 40 lines of said Gchat. A quick search on Twitter shows how easily Gchat slips into casual conversation. “I will Gchat you,” “Thanks, gchat history!,” “oh, i have to tell you something! you on gchat?” etc., etc. “Peep us at the Grammys, we’d like to thank Gchat,” raps Das Racist.

But the popular instant message client ensconced in your Gmail is not Gchat, as this reporter has learned. In fact, Google seems to actively resist the use of “Gchat,” despite its massive popularity and cultural significance (see “On Gchat,” “Gchat Status: An Appreciation,” and “Pitchfork Writer Ian Cohen Seems to Have Blocked Me on Gchat“). Instead, Google subtly corrects users who say it and studiously avoids it in any official communiqués. Read More