A friend called me up this weekend to complain about the word “blog”: slang words derived from the last syllable of a parent word (“blog” from “weblog,” “rents” from “parents,” etc.) are stupid. As are personal names similarly derived. I dunno, I don’t make the rules. Slang has its own logic. Although one can always attempt a slang intervention, as I will later this week.
(Parenthetical note: I love made-up slang. Exploitation fictions are full of them: the aforementioned Beat Girl contributed the wonderfully contrived phrase “straight from the fridge, dad,” meaning “cool,” which has been taken over as the title for a dictionary of hipster slang. Achewood, a very funny and inventive web comic, is constantly creating a parallel world of hip slang to complement its parallel world of talking cats and otters. And then there is the hoax Megan Jasper and Thomas Frank perpetrated on the New York Times, where Jasper concocted some bogus “grunge” slang that all the hip kids
in Seattle were supposedly using.)
But anyway, this post is supposed to be about blogs. My little girl (age four and a half) desperately wants an entrée into the adult world of mysterious sophistication. She’s been pondering what it is that adults do, what makes them adults. She announced yesterday that grown-ups (a) get to eat a lot, and (b) have blogs. She wants some of that action. Yesterday I got a tentative schedule for a conference at which I’ll be reading a paper. The conference organizer doesn’t want the conference line-up to be leaked before he’s had a chance to finish touching it up and asked that we all refrain from blogging it. Which is pretty reasonable, but I thought it was interesting that academic conference organizers have joined the ranks of people who, wishing to keep maintain some control on proprietary information, have to take blogs into consideration. We Are Everywhere.