There is something about the word “blog” that irritates me, so I finally looked it up. Of course I looked it up “on-line,” because that's how we do it now. Besides, no dictionary I own would be helpful. Wikipedia wasn't helpful either. It said that a blog is “a portmanteau of web log.” All this did was obfuscate the situation, because I was clueless about the word portmanteau. To me, portmanteau sounds like a French seaport.

Further investigation revealed that portmanteau is, “a fusion of two or more words or word parts to give a combined or loaded new meaning.” I looked up “loaded.” Loaded language is verbiage that attempts to influence the listener or reader by appealing to emotion rather than logic – much like blogs and politicians.

This still did not resolve the issue of where the “B” comes from in blog. Further searching, also in Wikipedia, found that, “the modern blog evolved from the online diary, where people would keep a running account of their personal lives.” So a portmanteau of diary and log should have resulted in dlog, not blog. Dlog does have a certain appeal, since diaries of most peoples lives would be totally boring to everyone else – just like most blogs.

I had to apply my own logic and speculation to come up with a combination of “Bulletin Board and Log.” Now this makes perfect sense to me, since almost every bulletin board I've seen is filled with crap. The “log” part of it just puts the crap in chronological order – or in the case of blogs – reverse chronological order so that the most recent crap is first.

Wikipedia did mention that there is now a search engine that tracks blogs (God only knows why), and that, as of December 2007, it was tracking more than 112 million blogs. One hundred and twelve million blogs is a lot of crap. But evidently crap is now very popular, as evidenced by this statistic, and by what people watch on television.

I still recall the good old days before television (yes, some of us are that old.) After dinner people were out in the neighborhood interacting with others. Adults conversed, kids played, and the sense of community was strong. Now days, people are either glued to their televisions watching crap, or they are posting crap on blogs so that other people they don't know and will never meet, who also have no lives other than their virtual ones, can share crap and feel good about themselves for doing virtually nothing.

My dog does something similar when I walk her down the street. She stops at all of the fire hydrants, street signs and poles, and sniffs them until I get impatient and pull her away. I now realize that these are blogs for dogs. Perhaps they should be called plogs – but I'll let you do the portmanteau analysis.

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