This is a blog post

The word blog comes from the words “web” and “log”, smashed together. The initial form of this smashing was “weblog” (1997); while still used (Tobias Bucknell), it seems pretty archaic nowadays. The modern (1999) form of the word is “blog”.

Some people, largely motivated by the malphony and newfangledness of “blog”, call their corresponding contrivances “journals”, “web diaries” or the like. (Also, some may truly be so ancient that their productions predate the word.) This fits well if the “journal” cannot be directly commented on (Neil Gaiman); in this way it truly is a “web diary” more than an interactive “blog”. (The biggest other difference is blogs are displayed in reverse chronological order, last posts first, while “true diaries”, electronical or otherwise, seem to prefer a “true” chronological ordering.)

A blog consists of objects that some call “blogs” and others “posts” or “blog posts”. Though language is defined by how people use it rather than by dictionaries and lexicographers, whose work is only to record those uses, the use of the same word for the whole and its dissimilar part cannot be recommended. The hope of the writer of this post is his imposture of gravitas is enough to convince the reader of this.

If not, then consider the momentary lapse of a puissant blogger whose eminence I am not worthy to cravenly ululate praises to, so I shall not, preambling a post of his with his hypothetical idea of what he had in mind: “the blog seemed rather difficult to write until I realized it was really two blogs” (Patrick Rothfuss). Does this indicate the blog as a whole needed splitting, or that his particular missive of words had two purposes? Context resolves the problem, but it would be better to choose words that never cause a problem at all. Moreover, “post” is a word just as nice and worthy as “blog”, or even more so.

Also, consider:

Person A: “So, what do you do for fun?”

Person B: “I write a blog about cats.”

Person A: “Ha-ha-ha, you silly ineffective person I shall now distance myself from! My boy wrote a blog and it took him five minutes, not the indeterminate amount of days you indicated! I shall now go and tell everyone you are a slovenly loser type of lax morals and BO.”

The verb “to blog” can similarly be used to mean “to write a blog post” and “to have and maintain a blog”. Compare first “I can’t come right now; I’m blogging!” to “We can’t invite him, the newspaper magnate said cringingly; he blogs!“.

Compare also “I’m blogging about how my brother’s pants caught fire” and “I’m blogging about everything that I love about you”. Switch meanings, and the advisability of these statements drops hugely.

There are also terms, some of them cutesy — travelog, blawg (law blog), vlog — for different kinds of blogs. These terms are all worthless. (If you hear a whining sound, it is the last of my gravitas, spent to make a little difference against the ugliness of tin-eared terminology.)

The words “blogosphere” and “blogroll” are best not commented on, save that they would have been best left in some ethnic Hungarian bakery they better belong in.

One Response to “This is a blog post”

  1. Erik the Reader Says:

    This is a comment!
    Ez egy hozzászolás!
    Try the roll filled with poppy seeds!
    Probáld ki a mákos beiglit!

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