I'm getting myself all sorts of confused since Google is both a proper noun and a verb. Which option is correct?

A). This time, Google "Best natural skincare lines."
B). This time, Google: best natural skincare lines.
C). This time, Google "best natural skincare lines.
D). This time, Google best natural skincare lines.

Thank you!

  • 2
    Not sure what this has to do with what part of speech google is. The question appears to be entirely about punctuation and nothing else. – RegDwigнt Nov 9 '18 at 22:21
  • "No Googling, says Google — unless you really mean it". No doubt if you use it as a verb, Google would want you to make sure you used their search engine—and that you use an uppercase G. But it's listed as a verb (in lowercase) in both Merriam-Webster and Oxford Dictionaries. – Jason Bassford Supports Monica Nov 9 '18 at 22:43
  • 2
    As for how to phrase the sentence, that's entirely subjective. Personally, I would likely use: "Enter the search term best natural skincare lines into Google." (Avoiding the verb and using italics for the term itself.) – Jason Bassford Supports Monica Nov 9 '18 at 22:44
  • Italics would be valid, and maybe better in formal writing (the OP doesn't specify whether they want formal style or something more everyday), but writing "Google best natural skincare lines" (possibly with quotes around the Googled-for phrase) is clear enough and sounds like what people would actually say in less formal contexts. You might differentiate googling for an exact phrase, using italics or quotes then, and googling for a thing, but the OP isn't precise about what they want. – Stuart F 2 days ago

I searched with Google for "when to capitalize google" and this article was the 4th result. The author cites the AP style guide, the Chicago Manual of style (which was the 3rd result), and Merriam-Webster.

The style guides agree that there is not a set rule for capitalizing 'Google' when used as a verb. They suggest capitalizing it since it is a trademarked name, but they're not going to come after you with torches and pitchforks if you don't.

Google's own style guide (result #5) provides this rule and clarification:

Google, Googling

Don't use as a verb or gerund. Instead, use search with Google.

In short, Google says to always capitalize it but just use it as a proper noun. The style guides recommend checking with the people giving you your paycheck/grade and follow their guidance.

  • The OP seems to be asking about how to cite the phrase you need to google. – tripleee 2 days ago

The option with a double quote on only one side of the quoted phrase is clearly wrong. The others are subtly different, but all at least vaguely correct.

The question title asks about capitalization, but the examples do not seem to be specifically about that. In fact, I would probably use lower case in all these examples (though see below).

  • This time, google "best natural skincare lines."

    This clearly demarcates the phrase as a quoted phrase. Orthographical convention in English dictates that the full stop should be inside the quotes, though the intention is probably to leave that out of the quoted phrase; if strict technical accuracy is important, I would move the full stop outside if this is indeed what you mean.

    Similarly, if the phrase should be capitalized, of course then capitalize it. In other words, if you are saying google "Best", not "best" then of course that needs to be spelled as you intended, and perhaps emphasized in a separate sentence.

  • This time, google: best natural skincare lines.

    I find this awkward, but I suppose there are situations where this would make sense. For example, if you wanted to emphasize google instead of search, perhaps this would be a natural way to phrase it? Normally, I would leave out the colon.

    There are situations where a colon can be regarded as "big punctuation" (like full stop, question mark, etc) and then the sentence which begins after it should be capitalized, but I would not say that this is an example where that would make sense. https://www.grammarly.com/blog/capitalization-after-colons/ suggests that this convention is specific to American English.

    You might still retain the quotes around the quoted phrase if you wanted to be clearer.

  • This time, google "best natural skincare lines.

    As indicated above, this is erroneous. A quotation should normally have quotes on both sides. (There are situations in technical writing where successive quotes from the same source can omit the closing quote; but that is clearly not the case here.)

  • This time, google best natural skincare lines.

    This is slightly informal and imprecise, but I would not reject it in casual writing.

    Perhaps in this case, capitalizing Best would in some sense make it clearer, though again this should definitely be avoided in more formal or technical writing.

I have opted to use "google" as a verb in lower case throughout.

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