Factoid of the Day

FACTOID OF THE DAY….Question: where did the word “blog” come from. Obviously it’s a contraction of “weblog,” but who did the contracting?

Answer: Tom Mangan is a word geek who has run a website for copy editors for years. According to Tom, who recently converted his site into a blog, the word “blog” was coined by Peter Merholz around May 1999.

I’m not sure if this is common knowledge or not, but it was news to me.

POSTSCRIPT: I happen to like the word “blog” myself, but I gather that a lot of people don’t. If you feel strongly about it, this is your chance to sound off.

ANOTHER POSTSCRIPT: I just feel like mentioning that Tom’s blog desperately needs comments, since arguing about word usage has kicked off some of the longest comment threads I’ve ever had. Apparently he tried to add them, but failed (permalinks bloggered). Get off blogger, Tom!

YET ANOTHER POSTSCRIPT: As long as I’m on the subject, Tom links to a couple of hilarious cartoons (if you’re amused by surly copy editors, anyway): Bob’s Quick Guide to the Apostrophe and Bob’s Quick Guide to Its and It’s. Check ’em out.

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