Grammar

What Does the Word Blog Mean to You: A Site or Post?

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If there’s one controversy I wish we could settle once and for all, it’s the question of the meaning for the word blog. People use it for two meanings.

When you hear the word blog, what do you think of?

Most people probably think of a site on which someone writes entries about what’s happening in their lives. The word is a shortening of weblog, a word that came into existence about 22 years ago.

If you’re surprised the word itself has been around so long, you’re not alone. But the platform Blogger launched on August 23, 1999. WordPress, the platform that handles this blog, launched on May 27, 2003.

In case you’re keeping score, this blog launched on Feb. 7, 2004. It originated on America Online’s now long-defunct AOL Journals platform. Then it moved to Blogger and then to WordPress in 2007.

So this definition of blog has been around longer than most people who are in college.

But there’s a second definition that muddies the waters.

Some people use blog as a synonym for blog post or blog article.

Rather than saying the just wrote a new post, they say they just wrote a new blog.

Usually, when you look at what they’re saying in context, you can figure out what they mean. But it’s still a potentially confusing usage, particularly when you consider that blogs are available to a worldwide audience.

When I wrote about this aggravation phenomenon back in 2014, I pointed out there’s a similar conflict with the word dish:

Some people use dish to mean the plate on which you put your food. Others use dish to describe the entree itself. Is it the container or what’s on it?

A novelist, on the other hand, who has had a productive day will say he’s completed a chapter, not a book, unless the entire product is indeed complete. It wouldn’t make sense to substitute book for chapter, so I don’t know why people think it’s acceptable to substitute blog for post.

But maybe that’s just me.

It’s a minor annoyance, yes, but still an annoyance.

It’d be nice if we didn’t have to agree to disagree and could instead get everyone on the same page.

Do you use the word blog to mean the site, a post on the site, or either?

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Patrick is a Christian with more than 29 years experience in professional writing, producing and marketing. His professional background also includes social media, reporting for broadcast television and the web, directing, videography and photography. He enjoys getting to know people over coffee and spending time with his dog.