The Space "Between" My Ears
Son of Blibbidy Blahbidy Blog, or, I Started a Joke

Blibbidy Blahbidy Blog [Updated 11/5/03]

A truly beastly schedule lies ahead this week, and posts here will be far fewer than I would like. Before disappearing into the swamps of responsibility, another brief foray into the language:

In a brief note linking to this previous item (and we thank you, sir, for that link), Gideon Strauss writes:

George Wallace recommends 'a lengthy and articulate defense of the web journal medium (he uses the archaic term for it: 'blogging')' by Mickey Kaus in Slate. Huh? 'Blogging' an 'archaic term'?
Allow me to elucidate:

That term -- "blogging" -- seems to be here to stay, and I referred to it as "archaic" whilst my tongue rummaged about somewhat glibly in my cheek. Archaic in the literal sense it is not: it's hip it's hep it's happenin' and All The Kids Are Using It. That said, I have opted to adopt the term "web journal" in most circumstances, in lieu of "blog" and its variants. I was persuaded to make the change after reading the arguments in its favor launched by David Giacalone. I first mentioned the issue here , with links to David's original essay on the subject in connection with BloggerCon (here) and his further arguments on the subject at his own web journal, ethicalEsq? (here). As David wrote in the latter post:
Nurturers and caretakers of language do not have to accept the mindless process that begat the word "blog" and its progeny, even though it may be too late to keep teenyboppers, the hipster insiders, and the trivial users of web log technology from chronically belching "blog" and "blogging." We can still choose meaningful nomenclature -- terminology that best suits the actual format of our web sites and that actually communicates a meaning. "Blog" is the equivalent of slang: yes it belongs in the dictionary, but it should not crowd other (and better) terminology for the same concept.

As new formats and technologies are created, let's remember that we are also creating and sharing a verbal legacy. If the goal is better communication that leads to better understanding and wider use of the new inventions, jargon and lingo and four-letter neologisms just won't do.
And there you have it. Next question?

[Update: Well, hush my mouth: professional commitments kept me far away from computers through the day yesterday, so I have only just seen Aaron Haspel's comments. Thanks as always for noticing, Aaron. More articulate reply to follow.

Thanks too to Rick Coencas for being the first to bring my attention to Aaron's piece. And I see David Sucher has two cents to spare as well. At this rate, we'll be arguing over architecture at any moment, and that way madness lies.]


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