What is the language of the internet

"Alphabet" and alphabet soup - How Google is shaping the language of the internet

Language affects our minds and our feelings. Whoever sets the alphabet of thought shapes our identity with it. With this new company name, Google wants to say nothing less than: We are dictating the letters of the Internet and at the same time providing the texture of the digital world. With the alphabet, Google provides the various building blocks of the network language, ultimately the essence of the World Wide Web. The universal language service provider wants to shape our world from A to Z and has the power of words on its side.

The decision for the playful title with a signal effect is only logical. Because the search engine provider has long shaped our language. The term “google” has become a synonym for research on the Internet. With “Google Books”, the group also operates the largest private collection of retrospectively digitized books. It is estimated that around 15 million books are stored in Google databases. The group thus assumes the function of a gigantic and global library. Google is at the beginning (alphabet) and at the end (knowledge base) of the process of finding meaning and using language.

The group is also preparing to break down language barriers in a technical way: an updated version of the translation app “Google Translate” is supposed to recognize spoken language, translate sentences into the target language and at the same time output them acoustically. Babylonian confusion of language is supposed to dissolve via smartphone for the purpose of international understanding. Google boss Larry Page now wrote in a letter to shareholders: "We like the name Alphabet because it stands for a collection of letters that represent language."

In fact, it is much more than just any collection of letters, as Page suggests. Ultimately, it is about the representation of language - and thus the basis for communication. So the name alphabet speaks a clear language. Tech columnist Rob Pegoraro mocked Google's megalomania on Twitter yesterday: "I really hope that there will be alphabet soup in the Google canteen tomorrow."

By Nina May