Origin of the word blog
Posted: 24 December 2007 05:35 AM   [ Ignore ]
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NPR’s Morning Edition had a story this morning on the origins of the weblog. In the spring of 1999, according to this item, the word weblog was reanalyzed as we blog, suggesting that the word blog started life as a verb.  Any antedates for blog as a noun?

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Posted: 24 December 2007 06:56 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Here’s Peter Merholz’ take on his influence on the language of the Web. Barger‘s Wikipedia article and web site.

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Posted: 24 December 2007 08:47 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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OED’s first cite supports the above.

[1999 http://www.bradlands.com (weblog diary) 23 May, Cam points out lemonyellow.com and PeterMe decides the proper way to say ‘weblog’ is ‘wee’- blog’ (Tee-hee!).]

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Posted: 24 December 2007 10:59 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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In the spring of 1999, according to this item, the word weblog was reanalyzed as we blog, suggesting that the word blog started life as a verb.

It doesn’t suggest any such thing.  It was a jokeWeblog = web + logBlog was a later shortening, and it quite naturally began to be used as a verb for the activity of writing blogs.

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Posted: 24 December 2007 11:18 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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languagehat - 24 December 2007 10:59 AM

In the spring of 1999, according to this item, the word weblog was reanalyzed as we blog, suggesting that the word blog started life as a verb.

It doesn’t suggest any such thing.  It was a jokeWeblog = web + logBlog was a later shortening, and it quite naturally began to be used as a verb for the activity of writing blogs.

Maybe, but that’s not what it says here:

Spring 1999: Online journal author Peter Merholz takes Jorn Barger’s word “weblog” and splits it into the phrase “We blog.” Blog soon becomes shorthand for weblog.

nor is it what I believe was said by who I believe was Mr. Merholz in the on-air piece linked to in the first page in my OP.

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Posted: 25 December 2007 06:06 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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I’m not following you.  As far as I can see, that’s exactly what it says there.  Merholz takes the pre-existing word (noun) weblog and splits it (jokingly, they don’t say but it should be obvious) into the phrase “we blog” (as if there were a verb “blog").  It was a one-off joke; the verb we all use today did not derive from that but from the noun “blog.”

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Posted: 26 December 2007 03:21 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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My question is whether that’s the first recorded instance of the word blog or whether we have a citation for blog as a noun before that.

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Posted: 26 December 2007 07:05 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Ah, gotcha.  That’s the first cite in the OED entry, but they put it in brackets because it’s a joke rather than an actual use of the noun.  The first non-bracketed cite is also from 1999: P. MERHOLZ in peterme.com (weblog diary) 28 May, For those keeping score on blog commentary from outside the blog community.

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Posted: 26 December 2007 07:13 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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languagehat - 26 December 2007 07:05 AM

Ah, gotcha.  That’s the first cite in the OED entry, but they put it in brackets because it’s a joke rather than an actual use of the noun.  The first non-bracketed cite is also from 1999: P. MERHOLZ in peterme.com (weblog diary) 28 May, For those keeping score on blog commentary from outside the blog community.

Quite right, I missed the significance of the brackets when posting the first cite. From OED: Key to Symbols and other conventions

Around an entire quotation

[] indicates a quotation is relevant to the development of a sense but not directly illustrative of it

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Posted: 26 December 2007 12:01 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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From somewhwere on the web:

[url=http://www.rebeccablood.net/essays/weblog_history.html]weblogs: a history and perspective
7 september 2000[/url]

In 1998 there were just a handful of sites of the type that are now identified as weblogs (so named by Jorn Barger in December 1997). Jesse James Garrett, editor of Infosift, began compiling a list of “other sites like his” as he found them in his travels around the web. In November of that year, he sent that list to Cameron Barrett. Cameron published the list on Camworld, and others maintaining similar sites began sending their URLs to him for inclusion on the list. Jesse’s ‘page of only weblogs’ lists the 23 known to be in existence at the beginning of 1999.

Suddenly a community sprang up. It was easy to read all of the weblogs on Cameron’s list, and most interested people did. Peter Merholz announced in early 1999 that he was going to pronounce it ‘wee-blog’ and inevitably this was shortened to ‘blog’ with the weblog editor referred to as a ‘blogger.’

From another site:

Editor’s note: Jorn Barger of Robot Wisdom coined the term “weblog” Dec. 17, 1997—10 years ago Monday—to describe the daily list of links that “logged” his travels across the web.

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Posted: 26 December 2007 01:18 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Right, but it took a couple of years for it to be boiled down to “blog.”

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