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Did “Yahoo!” Just Become a Verb?

Posted by Peter Post  February 26, 2013 07:00 AM

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Numerous online sources including the Telegraph have reported that on last Friday a leaked internal memo written by Yahoo! HR head Jackie Reses disclosed plans to put in place a “No Telecommuting” rule. Yahoo! employees will, starting in June, have to work in a Yahoo! office. The memo explained, “Speed and quality are often sacrificed when we work from home. We need to be one Yahoo!, and that starts with physically being together." It went on to talk about the benefits of collaboration and creativity coming from in-person interactions.

Needless to say, a firestorm of comment has erupted across the Internet. Interestingly, while the majority of commenters are taking both sides on the issue, others are questioning the manner in which the rule change is being instituted.

Part of Reses’s explanation focused on the importance of collaboration and interaction: “Being a Yahoo isn’t just about your day-to-day job, it is about the interactions and experiences that are only possible in our offices.” Reses uses Yahoo as a noun to refer to anyone who is a Yahoo! employee.

I wonder how long it will be before Yahoo! starts turning up as a verb? For instance a Yahoo! employee who chooses working at home over working at Yahoo! might comment to a friend, “I got Yahooed.” Or maybe “I got Yahood.” Whatever.

One thing I know for sure. While Google as a verb has a connotation that reflects positively on the brand and on the brand’s function, i.e. as a search engine, being Yahood is not a brand image Yahoo! wants for its name.

You can see the entire memo at All Things D.

This blog is not written or edited by Boston.com or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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About the author

Since 2004, Peter Post has tackled readers' questions in The Boston Sunday Globe's weekly business etiquette advice column, Etiquette at Work. Post is the co-author of "The Etiquette Advantage in Business" and conducts business etiquette seminars across the country. In October 2003 his book "Essential Manners For Men" was released and quickly became a New York Times best seller. He is also the author of "Essential Manners for Couples," "Playing Through–A Guide to the Unwritten Rules of Golf," and co-author of "A Wedding Like No Other." Post is Emily Post's great-grandson. His media appearances include "CBS Sunday Morning," CBS's "The Early Show," NBC's "Today," ABC's "Good Morning America," and "Fox News."

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