Linguist, lexicographer, radio host, public speaker

A blog as a single web site entry

I’ve got very few language peeves, but I’ve been sitting on one of them until I’m ready to burst.

It’s this: the use of “blog” to mean a single entry or post to a blog web site. As in, “Today’s blog is going to be short, but I’ll write a longer blog tomorrow.” Examples are abundant.

See, when I joined this merry blogging trade in 1999, a blog was a web site. The whole site. In fact, it still is. Or at least it’s a cohesive sub-site, like the blogs a newspaper web site will also host for its writers.

The correct choice is either “entry” or “post.” You can have a “blog entry” or “blog post” but you can’t have a “blog blog.”

It bothers me because it adds confusion rather than clarity. When I first came across this usage I really thought that someone was creating a brand-new reverse-date diary-style web site every day.

At some point, there’s going to have to be a disambiguation, in which one of the meanings of “blog” will fall away and the other will continue. Will it mean a whole web site or will it mean a single entry? I’ll check in again in ten years or so. Currently, it’s clearly the newcomers which are using the word this way and they still seem to be in the minority.

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Grant Barrett