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9 Comments

  • Stan:
    My initial reaction to “blog” was “Yuck!,” but I’ve mellowed with age(in more than one way!). As shorthand for “web log” it makes perfect sense, and it follows all the rules of how we make words in English. And yes, the feel of the word connotes certain unmentionables(although in the US “bog” has never meant what it means in Ireland – simply a marshy area with perfectly- preserved ancient Danes, among others). I agree with you about the redundancy of “blogpost,” but again, we do it all the time; what are we to make of “THE hoi polloi”(or is it simply elitist to assume that well-educated English language monoglots will know that “hoi” is the Attic Greek nominative plural of the definite article?). Electronic mail quickly became “e-mail,” and now it has become, or is becoming email. Thus goes the language.

  • Ha – so blog has already acquired a second sense (=a blog post – the message, not the medium), and the ‘pedants’ (in this case Stan) are already objecting to this ‘incorrect’ usage!!
    Corpus data (and data from Google Ngrams) suggests the move from ‘weblog’ to ‘blog’ was almost immediate, but pockets of resistance remain. Similarly, I have letters from Oxford University Press from not very long ago, where the letterhead gives their phone number, then their ‘facsimile’ number (this continued long after most people had even stopped using faxes).

  • I think the word “blog” is great, though I share your dislike of “blog” to mean “post”. When someone says that they have a new blog, I’m not sure if it means that they moved to a new host or have a new account or if they just wrote a new post.

  • Marc: One of the great advantage of blog over web log is that its simplicity makes it very reusable, adaptable and inflectable. Had web log or weblog been retained instead, it’s unlikely they would have been so productive. I’m glad blog won you over! As for hoi polloi, I’m inclined not to fuss over it. With or without a definite article, either is OK with me — though in formal contexts I prefer the more proper version.

    Michael: More than two senses if you count the verb form. I’m sure you noticed that I didn’t call blog = blog post incorrect; I just expressed a different preference. Like you, I’m curious about the ‘pockets of resistance’ that have held on to weblog — and indeed faxes. I sent a fax recently from a suburban print store, where an employee told me they catered to 10 or 20 fax customers a day. The technology has taken a back seat, but it’s not moribund quite yet.

    Jonathon: That happens me too. Normally it’s clear enough that a single blog post is meant, but it makes it awkward when someone has an entirely new blog. The ambiguity is unnecessary.

  • Hi Stan,

    Sincerely, the word blog sounds practical, easily pronounceable, perfect for me. Btw I love blogs, sophisticated ones of course such as Macmillan’s! Some of those on the UK media count on my regular visits…

    Thank you Stan.