Sunday, January 13, 2008

Bloggy. Bloggier. Bloggiest.

Google the phrase 'I hate the word blog' and you will see that quite a few of us do. It is not a very graceful or mellifluous word, but it is both honest and useful and it is this honesty and utility that have given it its place in modern usage.

Its honest derivation from the term 'web log' has, thankfully, deprived us of some pretentious term likely to be dreamed up by sociologists attempting to load it with significance. Granted, the term 'web' is no longer used like it once was and 'log' reminds one more of Abraham Lincoln's birthplace or William Shatner's voiceover of an ancient special effects sequence, but 'blog' soldiers on. It is unfortunate that the somewhat more literary connotations of a word like 'travelogue' could not have been incorporated, but things are as they are and any pretensions to literature will need to arise from blogs' contents and not the genesis of the term itself.

The utility of 'blog' is an even greater factor in its popularity than its honest origins. It has a forthright monosyllabism that lends itself to ease of use. Once one has gotten past the newness of the term, the conjunction and combination of its component sounds makes it seem surprising that no one before our own generation has put them together for the naming of something else. Why did our ancestors have nothing named 'blog?'

Its utility continues far beyond its brevity. 'Blog' easily jumps across the noun line into verb territory: "I blog," an acquaintance once told me. 'Blogging' is a popular pasttime and, adjectively speaking, 'blog' can describe posts, sites, and material. Oh, and just in case you thought the logosphere was entirely too pretentious, the blogosphere is dominated by plebeians and has almost entirely superceded it.

It seems more and more likely that those whose hidebound and reactionary views toward language cause them to revile the neologisms generated by information technology will be shoved aside by the force of a living, growing language. Acceptance of these new terms may well be the litmus test that determines which of us possesses the flexibility and mental adaptability to excel in the information age.

Unfortunately, I still hate the word 'blog.'

1 comment:

pris said...

I hate the word BLOG, too ... but i'm too sleepy to think much else about it at the moment. Bloggedy, blogg, blog - it's off to bed for me. G'bloggin!