Language awareness as part of linguistic competence

'Google' becomes an official verb - ZDNet UK News
Though you may have been "googling" people for years, the verb you were using was technically slang, until recently.

In fact, many regularly used tech words are just now getting the official stamp of approval from English-language dictionaries.

On Thursday, Merriam-Webster announced its latest update, and the new science and technology words added to the venerable dictionary include agritourism, biodiesel, mouse potato, ringtone and spyware.

And google is defined as a transitive verb meaning "to use the Google search engine to obtain information about (as a person) on the World Wide Web." While the entry retains capitalisation in explaining the word's etymology — "Google, trademark for a search engine" — the verb google is lowercase.

This is an very common example of how language change gets reflected in the popular discourse. I suspect that this may actually be one of the key mechanisms of linguistic change (Labov has written three thick volumes on the whole gamut of them) but more importantly the ability if not necessity to bring these questions into popular and individual consciousnes is probably one of the central aspects of our general linguistic competence (langage).