I had lunch today with a former editor who was talking about a recent trip he’d made to the West Coast. “So I ‘JetBlued’ out to California….,” he said nonchalantly, with little notice of the verb he’d just created. Like “Googled,” which implies not only the search tool used, but the better search experience, “JetBlued” says he’d done a lot more than fly on the booming low-fare airline. Rather, he’d flown while eating his choice of snacks, watching TV in a comfy leather seat–and spending much less.
What’s next? Will we start saying we “WaMu’d” when we get cash, surcharge-free, out of a Washington Mutual ATM? Will we say we spent Saturday “Ikea-ing” when we shop for cheap chic furniture? Is “JetBlued” the new “Googled?”
So far, at least, it doesn’t seem to have caught on. Back at the office, I turned up just three results when I, well, Googled “JetBlued.” Two more surfaced when I searched for “JetBlue’d.” Most implied the same meaning my editor had used, as in “JetBlue’d it home and Greyhound’d it back up to Albany for work bright and early” on this travelogue. (Somehow, I don’t think the Greyhound-as-verb had quite the same customer experience implication.)
One search result, however, accidentally implied another meaning. Scrambled text from a story that mentioned how JetBlue shared passenger data with the government somehow crunched together the words “JetBlue passed,” forming “JetBlued.” Though unintentionally formed, it’s a good reminder there could be more than one meaning to the company verb.