Sometime in the late 90s I wrote a column for the newly formed online edition of our local newspaper. The column was called « Boldly Going Nowhere » and for the most part, it was just stories and insights about things that occurred in my everyday life. At that time, the format was referred to as cyber journalism or in my case an electronic editorial. I just referred to it as my « online column ».
I have always liked the word column. I like the way it looks when written. I like the way it sounds and I like the fact that synonyms for the word « column » are words singularly descriptive. The word column is associated with words like discourse, conversation, and commentary. Isn’t it a lovely word and when you say column it almost sounds as though you are saying call ‘em (call them). I think of a column as more personal. It is as though the author and the reader are having a one-on-one conversation.
It was Jorn Barger on 17 December 1997 who coined the term « weblog ». I did not have a problem with the word weblog because it was a good description of the format. The short form, « blog, » was coined by Peter Merholz, who jokingly broke the word weblog into the phrase we blog in the sidebar of his blog Peterme.com in April or May of 1999. The word was quickly adopted as both a noun and verb (« to blog, » meaning « to edit one’s weblog or to post to one’s weblog »). Well the « pun » took root and today we no longer maintain web journals or create electronic editorials, we blog.
I really hate the word Blog and it irks me to no end when I am referred to as a Blogger. I don’t like the way it sounds when I say the word. It doesn’t feel good when it rolls off my tongue and past my lips. It’s even an ugly word to look at, beginning with the bloated round « B » the « lo » in the middle and the serpentine little « g » appearing to be a viper just waiting for a victim. I have avoided use of the word Blog as much as possible and until this evening, I was never able to put my finger on why I disliked the word so much. However, during a conversation with my favorite Cowboy, I had an epiphany and realized the source of my aversion to the word.
The word blog has the same sort of sound that you make after you’ve had too many drinks at the pub, and have crawled into the « loo » on your hands and knees and are praying at the porcelain altar. Doesn’t that particular prayer always begin with BLA and end with ugh ? Say the word slowly, BLOG. Do you feel it ? doesn’t it remind you of those nights on the cold ceramic tiles and the death-wish feeling the next morning ? BLA-UGH. Moreover, the word Blogger enters my mind as a person who has bla-ughed the night before. I should know because I’ve made the occasional pilgrimage to the porcelain altar.
So I will continue to be a columnist, an essayist, a humorist or even a two-bit hack, but I flat refuse to think of my writing as a blog or myself as a Blogger.
source : Off the cuff
NB : poser le curseur sur les mots soulignés pour en afficher la traduction