Saturday, October 25, 2008

Why my blog isn't really a blog

Main Entry: blog
Function: noun
Etymology: short for Weblog
Date: 1999
Definition: a Web site that contains an online personal journal with reflections, comments, and often hyperlinks provided by the writer ; also : the contents of such a site

I have a friend who loves language the way other people love, well, the things they really, really love. I often affectionately refer to him as a language fascist. He is a poet by choice so I can understand why language is important to him. I, however, would best be considered as a language liberal. Perhaps a dilettante would be an even better descriptor. I am a non-native speaker of English and quite frankly an awful student. Didn't pay much attention in my high school English classes and by the time I got to college it was too late. My only saving grace is that I love to read so I picked up some of the general gist of the English language, if not always the mechanics of it, along the way.
So why not a blog? Simple. It ain't a journal and it won't always be reflective, and it won't always be commentary and I am tired of the term and I guess I have a little of the language fascist in me as well. Blog might hold the world record for going from a neologism to a commonly used word. But the general idea has been around for a long, long time.
I started using computers sometime around 1979-1980. Yes, kids the Internet isn't new either. Okay. The kids probably don't know it isn't new. So for all of you over 30 who can still remember the dark days before computers, the Internet has been around for a while. In the beginning there was ARPANET and they saw that it was good and things went on from there. My first Internet experience was on PLATO (Programmed Logic for Automated Teaching Operations). No worries, I didn't actually learn much other than how to play DnD and various other multiplayer games on line. Yes. Multiplayer games have been around for a while too. I have to admit that the graphics have gotten much better. There's quite a difference between seeing bone shards and blood splatter in all of its HD glory accompanied by Dolby sound effects and looking at a text string on a black screen with a blinking cursor waiting for your next move.

"You are in a twisting passage."
"Enter W, D, A or X to continue."
"You run into a troll."
"Troll hits for 20 hit points."
"You die."
"Press enter to restart."

I was also exposed to such things as P-Notes (e-mail), Notes Files (now referred to as forums, newsgroups, etc.), term-talk (IM). The founding blocks of what we now consider to be common place. Reading and sending e-mail, google, sharing thoughts and exchanging ideas online, etc. I don't mean to sound bitter. Things change. And they should. But for some reason the term Blog bugs me. To me it was a meaningless neologism used to describe something which wasn't new.

And yet here I am.



  1. He says he don't speak English goodly - but yet uses "neologism." Twice. Ha.