Thursday, May 11, 2006

Ingwords: definition - annoying words.

I hate the word blog. It's in the same category as borg. It has nothing to do with hating 'b's and 'o's and 'g's. There are actually a few reasons I hate it.

1) Any shortening of a word spleets my ears. This is true of all types of words including - or especially - proper nouns that become nicknames. These all give off an odour of 'I don't have the time to say the full word.' This combines with some weird sort of 'woohoo...look at me...I use this word enough to know its nickname...I know what the locals call it!' Here's the irony - locals often hate the most popular nicknames. Ever heard a native San Franciscan who says "Frisco"? Well even if they do I still hate it. I don't like jargon when it is embraced so easily and with the obvious desire to create delineate or espouse a new and fashionable community.

2) The word has become over productive. not only does it refer to a log on the web it refers to the act of writing a log on the web. And you can be a blogger. and we now have a blogosphere (we didn't crawl back like crabs and create the ethereal 'blogweb' - at least we avoided that). And I've even seen 'bloggly' used. now come on…

3) Most annoying about it is how it came about. A shortening of "web log", it took the coda of web, /b/, and put it onto log. I can almost stomach a form that simply truncates a last syllable. But to drop only the first part of a word and leave the last part to stick onto the onset of the second . . . ugh. I don't know why this bugs me. I'm not sure if it's as bad as borg - which takes cybernetic organism and shortens it to cyb-org then shortens it again to -b-org. So from first form to last we see that a /b/was pulled from the middle of a word and put at the start of another.

But now I have to retract all this and say that phonologically these are very predictable processes and they make perfect sense. I wonder if knowledge really is the key to tolerance.

Speaking of tolerance . . . can anyone guess why using -holic as a suffix bothers me? as in workaholic and chocoholic . . .

But I do love some words.
subtle - especially with the American English intervocalic flapping instead of a voiceless /t/
mellifluous - (Funny how that word changes so drastically by changing the /m/to /f/)
brat - It sounds so appropriate to what it means. Like subtle it's almost onomatopoetic.

1 comment:

  1. Is a better alternative a web journal, or wejie? And I guess that you don't like workaholic because "hol" comes from alcohol and has nothing to do with the actual noun affix "-ic." Workic is tricky, but Chocolatic almost sounds like chocoladdict. Mania is easier to add. My second guess is that you dislike Anthony Michael Hallics.


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