Found object

What is a “blog”? In this paper, I will show that this is a question which is less easy to answer than many people think, at least those people who know what “blogs” are, which isn’t everybody. Most people think “blogging” is something that only started with the World-Wide Web, but Webster’s Dictionary tells a slightley different story.

Blog n [ME blaugh, fr. OF blaugget, doppelganger; chalk; a lead weight used to measure chalk] 1 : a chewy substance of emetic and expectorant properties, derived from a mixture of matzo, manioc, and diatomaceous earth 2 a : gases emitted by a swamp, bog, fen, or other stagnant wetland b : any similarly potent gaseous emission — blogacious, blogatile adj
vb blogged; blogging vi : to produce blog < who blogged? > vt : to subject a person or matter of topical interest to fresh blog < decided to ~ it>

So as you can see the word has been around the block for a while. Alot of places on the Web talk about “blog” comeing from “weblog”, but you can’t believe everything on line because people can put whatever they want to and their are no editorials. Also, it is a circular reason, if you think about it. The first people who stated “we blog” on computers, got the idea for that verb from somewhere else. Probably the dictionary. “Blog” cannot come from “we blog”, the Web pages that say that are irroneous.

Today you can see alot of “blogs” more than ten million, which is more than the wetlands that exist in America. But your average “blog” has onely two posts (post is what they call pages in a “blog”, which come down from the top of the page in the order posted). And no links except Google News and Link me. Links are how you find “blogs”, except for “blogs” that the owner does not want you to find, besides “Next Blog” on Blogger, if you click on it. They have names that are like the titles of books that you want to look into because the cover makes you think it will be cool, for example, Green Eggs and Spam. The authors write about their daily life and opinions, such as Tristam Shandy, only less wordy and with smileys.

Smileys are important to show the emotions, like when you say something sarcastic or just-kidding. They are not just the ones with a smile, but winks and angry too, besides alot more other ones. When people write comments they use smileys, that way if they don’t know each other its O.K. Comments go back and forth at the bottom of posts and is maybe the reason why they thought about “blog” comeing from we blog. But some “blogs” don’t allow comments, either.

Some “blogs” only write about politics and think they are reporters, in their underwear they say. Political “blogs” for the most part are concerned about Snark, like Lewis Carroll wrote about how it disappears when you get to close:

In the midst of the word he was trying to say,
In the midst of his laughter and glee,
He had softly and suddenly vanished away — –
For the Snark was a Boojum, you see.

Daily Kos and Boing-boing and Michelle Markin are the most popular “blogs” sites right now. Also Istapundit.

In conclusion, if you think you know what “blog” is, you can find a “blog” that is something else. MySpace and Live Journal, that some say isn’t “blogging” comes under the influence of Chat rooms and bulletin boards, but many “blogs” just have links and plagiarism from others, and you can’t see any smileys there. You should try it.

23 Comments


  1. Davey, this is not just an impressively researched paper, but its also a highwire act (metaphor) that is successful with share aplomb.

    A- (it would have been a regular A if you had more links, and more smileys to tell us the emotion).

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  2. dave – you’re SO funny! this is hilarious
    thanks

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  3. You’ve been on a roll lately (or is that “role”?). Spring fever?

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  4. This is so well done, Dave. It reminds me of the short story Leda and the Swan by Eric Puchner. Have you read him?

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  5. Thanks for the kind reactions (and the A-, though I think I would’ve preferred a little gold star). Am I on a roll? I thought I was just writing around a general lack of inspiration, as per William Stafford’s advice (found via Two Dishes): when writer’s block strikes, lower your standards!

    robin andrea – I’ve never even heard of him. (Which probably doesn’t mean much; I’m not very well-read in contemporary fiction.)

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  6. O.K., I see what you mean! I found “Leda and the Swan” online here.

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  7. Hilarious!

    Also a little near the knuckle – I have a spare-time job ostensibly ‘proofreading’, but actually trying to make stuff all too like this sound more coherent and meaningful.

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  8. Ah, I meant on a silliness roll.

    I thought you meant rye. You know, Deli Lama and stuff.

    I have a spare-time job ostensibly ‘proofreading’, but actually trying to make stuff all too like this sound more coherent and meaningful.

    You can make it coherent, Jean. What you can’t do is make it meaningful. That battle was lost long before the document ever reached your hands.

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  9. My comment got cut off. Probably because I tried to use one of those smileys that isn’t a smiley.

    Nothing against Stafford, whose poetry I generally enjoy, but can we go back to your usual programming now? Please?

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  10. I give this blog a check ++, down from check +++
    :-)

    Darn it, who blogged? Must be the dog.

    Nice job Dave, I’m still laughing.

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  11. Irroneous, circular reasons, however diatomaceous seeming, have no mass and have no chalk equivalent. They roll by their own accord and you don’t need a stick.

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  12. Hee hee, you startled me at first. I thought, this isn’t Dave with all these spelling and grammatical errors! I give it an A plus some gold stars.

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  13. Thanks for all the comments, gold stars and plus marks!

    Jean – I like your phrase “near the knuckle,” which I’ve never heard before. Much more expressive than “close to home.”

    MB – I have regular programming? See, that’s what I try to avoid – getting in a groove.

    Peter – Oops, I guess this probably cut a little near the knuckle for you, too. Sorry.

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  14. By regular programming, I was thinking of the fact that you normally employ proper sentence structure, verb conjugation, spelling, and that you combine that with something of substance to say. You don’t write in a way that I’m automatically editing everything. Surely that doesn’t interfere with your groove? Except when you are Staffording? For a sometime editor, this was all too familarly grim. (Not the only one around these parts, evidently.)

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  15. Touche! I love how you started with that awesome definition. You had me going for a moment. Y’all remember the game “dictionary” where someone picks a word from the dictionary and everyone makes up a dictionary sounding “definition” and then the chooser reads all the definitions including the real one and everybody guesses which one was real. I’m sure Dave you were an allstar Dictionary player if you ever played.

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  16. Dave, oh dear, I looked up the origin of ‘near the knuckle’ and found that I was wrong in my unthinking use of it to mean the same as ‘close to the bone’. They are both metaphors from butchery, but the latter is what I meant and you understood, funny but likely to offend because it describes my personal circumstances, whereas the former means means funny but likely to offend because it’s very obscene! So don’t use it unless that’s what you mean…

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  17. MB – I hope today’s post is more to your liking. (I did mess with tenses just a bit, though.)

    Shai – Thanks! I think I played that game once, and as usual with word games, my older brother the linguist kicked my butt.

    Let’s face it, many of us are writers precisely because we aren’t that quick in real life.

    Jean – Well, darn it, I still like your mistaken usage better!

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  18. I’ve never seen a perfect blog, and never hope to see one.
    But I can tell you this right now:
    I’d rather see than be one.

    Blogging feels a lot like the early, pre-www, BBSs.

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  19. Blogging feels a lot like the early, pre-www, BBSs.

    I wouldn’t know. I’ve been online for less than ten years.

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