This blogger is a sucker for anything that makes reference to a blog or blogging (or both). So, when language maven William Germano mentioned those magic words, this blogger was besotted (another B-word). It doesn't take much to besot this elderly blogger. If this is (fair & balanced) infatuation, so be it.
By William Germano
Tag Cloud of the following article
A blog is a sort of diary written in the ether.
The word blog, which derives from Weblog (we drop the “We”), is one of the shortened forms of speech that retains the end rather than the beginning of a word. (If a blog were a guy its name would be Topher, not Sam or Will.)
Blog marries web‘s “b” to the word log. Sounds simple. So in our all-digital world, why aren’t there more b-words?
It’s possible to write an essay and post it digitally, but what might be described as a Web essay isn’t likely be called a bessay. An online report isn’t a breport.
And 10,000 lines of heroic hexameter uploaded to the Web would be amazing—but unlikely to make the word bepic a new term of art.
Does blog need company? Here are a few candidates, neologisms that take that empowering “b” and turn it loose on ordinary English words. Mind you, I’m not recommending any of these, but if you run into them, you saw them here first.
Even the virtual world has space issues— its real estate is composed of domains and URL’s, which are forms of bland. Rearranging your digital files and updating your personal site are forms of blandscaping.
An online tizzy, as in to be all blathered up, especially over Web controversies.
Not every digital revelation rises to the level of a WikiLeak; if you spill the beans online about Sheila’s surprise party, you’re responsible for a bleak. Cf. booze: to let information ooze out over the Internet.
Slang. An online British person; potentially offensive, not recommended for general use.
It’s just a link. We create links all the time in electronic communication, but blink just sounds better, as does the nonexistent verb to hotblink.
To be old in digital time; a posting one hour ago is already bold.
An online scam, unless of course the Nigerian prince in your spam really does have $10-million waiting for you.
An electronic entitlement, cf. the digital Declaration of Universal Human Brights.
An online rascal, someone who runs a bracket. Cf. bracketeer.
An underdeveloped digital file.
To say something on the Web in an oracular or portentous way.
Enough? Here’s one more:
To be compulsive about all things digital, including—and maybe especially—Web language. Ω
[William Germano is dean of humanities and social sciences and a professor of English literature at Cooper Union. He's the author of Getting It Published: A Guide for Scholars and Anyone Else Serious about Serious Books and From Dissertation to Book, as well as essays in The Chronicle and elsewhere. Germano received his B.A. from Columbia and his Ph.D. in English from Indiana University-Bloomington.]
Copyright © 2012 The Chronicle of Higher Education
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