A Question at the Commencement

We of the “digital age” have a knack for inventing especially inelegant words to describe the novel circumstances of our lives. We can only hope that there is no necessary connection between the quality of the words, and the quality of the facts themselves…

Why ever call something a “blog,” when one could just as easily call it a journal or a diary? Both of the latter words come from the elegant idea of a day’s work, a day’s record, and journal in particular has both a pleasant sound and look to it. The term “blog” has a single advantage, that it describes both the activity and the medium: we know, from the name, that we are dealing with a digital form of writing. But is it really necessary to specify something so immediately apparent?

Thus, the very moment I start up this new — well, what shall I call it? — I am faced already with a choice, so relevant to that conflict between tradition and modernity to which I am obliged to return again and again. Shall I cleave here to an older custom, and call this a journal? Or shall I acquiesce to this ugly, trendy little word, and call mine a “blog,” so as not to alienate those who are better at home in our times than myself? Or shall I opt for some other possibility altogether?

Perhaps the diligent reader will have a suggestion? For the moment, I proceed on an anonymous work; and we shall see, miner-wise, how the rest pans out.

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