Saturday, January 29, 2011

Please help me replace this four-letter word.

I remember the first time Eric mentioned reading someone's "blog."  I quickly doused him with hand sanitizer and asked what he was talking about.

"Whatever is this 'blog' of which you speak, dear husband?"  This is how we address each other in my polite household.

"I'm not Mr. Darcy; stop talking like that."  He rarely plays along.

Anyway, he explained that "blog" is the slang abbreviation for the compound term "web log."  That didn't help.  I don't even understand the difference between the internet and the World Wide Web (I'm always distracted thinking of ABC's Wide World of Sports and that poor somersaulting skier whenever anyone attempts to explain the two.)  Several years later, after repeated exposure to the blogging phenomena, I came to the conclusion that a "blog" is anything that anyone wants to write about, usually unedited, posted on the web for anyone else to read.

Of course I had to have one.  In every color.

But really, couldn't someone think of a better name for this form of writing and publishing?  The word "blog" is unattractive enough it it's original form, but the present tense "blogging" sounds positively disgusting!  Before I tell someone I'm blogging, I want to check the mirror for nose debris and make sure my zipper is all the way up.  I don't know if I'm unusual, but the word just carries such negative vibes for me.

"I have a blog" has all the charm of "I have a canker sore." 

"I write a blog for The Weekly Pimple.  Have you ever read it?  It's called 'Busted.'"

"Honey, if you are blogging again, please turn on the exhaust fan!"

For some writers, blogging is just journalling on the computer, keeping a "web diary."  But in our abbreviation-prone society, these terms would quickly become "compujourn" and "webdi."  Less grating terms than "blog," but clearly not an improvement. Others write in essay form, to demonstrate humor or promote their views to a wide audience.  Perhaps they use "blog" because no better term has presented itself.  But I can't imagine William F. Buckley or Ann Landers bragging about their "blog."  Buckley would have already come up with a new term.  (Of course, Dave Barry probably loves it.)

In the paper-print age, professional writers used inoffensive terms like novel, essay, dissertation, study, editorial, treatise, and column to describe their product.  These words may evoke fear or boredom, but they don't make you want to grab the antacid.

I don't want to think of a new term myself, I just want someone else to do it with my preferences in mind.  Gentle reader, please find or create a word to replace "blog."  Although I appreciate the free website I'm using to publish my thoughts, the words, "I have a blog on," don't gently roll off the tongue, as in, "I have a column in Cosmo."

So come on...I want all 8 of my followers and the other two anonymous readers to get right on this.  Show your originality!  Usher in a new age of ________ing on the web.  Give us a new name for blogging.  Al Gore is the father of the internet, one of you could be the mother of the webdi (I'm "webdiing?"  That's got problems.)  See, even my silly examples are crap - hurry before someone starts using them.  Stay on the computer until you find a suitable term to suggest, then send it as a comment to this post.

I'm giving you a perfect excuse to stay in your jammies and play on the computer all day.  Just tell the spouse and kids you are "working" on an important internet "project."  You can thank me later.

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