Hello,

We noticed you're browsing in private or incognito mode.

To continue reading this article, please exit incognito mode or log in.

Not a subscriber? Subscribe now for unlimited access to online articles.

A View from Herb Brody

What Do You Call This Here Online Journal-like Thing?

Why, it’s a blog, of course! Which happens to be the word most often looked up online during 2004, according to dictionary publisher Merriam-Webster. The current edition of Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary doesn’t contain an entry for “blog,” but in the…

  • December 2, 2004

Why, it’s a blog, of course! Which happens to be the word most often looked up online during 2004, according to dictionary publisher Merriam-Webster. The current edition of Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary doesn’t contain an entry for “blog,” but in the face of the intense public curiosity about the word, the folks at Merriam-Webster came up with one to post online:

Blog noun [short for Weblog] (1999): a Web site that contains an online personal journal with reflections, comments, and often hyperlinks provided by the writer
Sounds about right, if you can get past the redundancy of specifying that a website is online. The widespread need to know what a blog was apparently stemmed in part from the incessant references to the blogging phenomenon during the presidential campaign. Not coincidentally, the runners-up were “incumbent” and “electoral” (people really need to look those up?). Most of the rest of the top 10 also have pretty obvious topical hooks:
4. insurgent
5. hurricane
6. cicada
7. peloton
8. partisan
9. sovereignty
10. defenestration

The exception here is number 10, defenestration. No, there wasn’t an outbreak this year of people throwing stuff out windows. That word apparently wormed its way into the public consciousness by winning Merriam-Webster’s 2004 “What’s Your Favorite Word” survey. As to why it achieved that honor–well, there are some questions that are beyond the powers of mere bloggers to answer.

Countdown to EmTech Digital 2019. Join us and be the AI leader your company needs.

Register now
Want more award-winning journalism? Subscribe to Print Subscription.
  • Print Subscription {! insider.prices.print_only !}*

    {! insider.display.menuOptionsLabel !}

    Six print issues per year plus The Download delivered to your email in-box each weekday.

    See details+

    12-month subscription

    Print magazine (6 bi-monthly issues)

    The Download: newsletter delivery each weekday to your inbox

/3
You've read of three free articles this month. for unlimited online access. You've read of three free articles this month. for unlimited online access. This is your last free article this month. for unlimited online access. You've read all your free articles this month. for unlimited online access. You've read of three free articles this month. for more, or for unlimited online access. for two more free articles, or for unlimited online access.