Expand your word power

I can’t take credit for this. A friend has described the Books Blog as a “blook.” This made sense to me, because if a Web log can be a “blog” then a Blog on books can be a “blook.” Then I did some research and found that “blook” has been used for a few years now to describe books based on blogs or books published on blogs. But I don’t see why the word can’t have a third definition for blogs about books. Anyone care to back me up on this? Click “more” to read my research on the word.
This is from the Macmillan Dictionary:

blook noun [C] /blk/
a book based on material from a weblog

‘There aren’t any blook stores yet. Nor is there a New York Review of Blooks. But the blook – a book by a blogger – is a growing presence in the publishing biz. …’
(U.S. News & World Report, 4th March 2006)

Many recent neologisms have emerged from the comparison between the real and online world. For instance, we now talk about e-tailers as opposed to bricks-and-mortar retailers, or face-to-face as opposed to virtual sales. The transition from printed to electronic page has been one such area, turning diaries into blogs (weblogs) and magazines into webzines. And now, in what seems a bizarre twist, we’ve come full circle, as blogs, commentaries originating firmly in the virtual world, are becoming blooks, texts made of real bits of paper that you can hold in your hand.

Latest estimates say that there are more than 60 million blogs worldwide, and though many simply consist of the daily observations of ordinary people, a growing number of bloggers are seeing themselves as budding authors, using the medium to write blog books, or blooks, which they can pay to have printed.

Among the most popular blooks to emerge so far is Egg Bacon Chips & Beans – 50 Great Cafes And The Stuff That Makes Them Great, by Russell Davies (HarperCollins, October 2005). Based on Davies’s blog eggbaconchipsandbeans, this guide to the UK’s best 50 “greasy spoon” cafés has become a cult book, and is among those blooks competing for the recently unveiled Blooker Prize, an award for bloggers turned bookwriters whose name bears a tongue-in-cheek resemblance to the prestigious Booker Prize. The first Blooker Prize winner will be announced on 3rd April 2006. The prize’s founder, American multimillionaire Bob Young, argues that whereas the Booker is often perceived as highbrow and removed from the ordinary reader, the Blooker taps into a growth area in popular culture. Many bloggers with a passion for a particular subject and an accessible writing style have won a regular and appreciative audience, creating the potential for blooks to become increasingly popular in the future.

Here’s a link to a blogger writing about coming to know the word “blook”: http://terrywhalin.blogspot.com/2006/04/learn-new-word-blook.html

And then there this (and here’s the link):

“Blook” is a Runner-up For Word of The Year

According to the newsblog of Guardian Unlimited, “blook” is on a short-list of new words being considered by experts for addition to the venerable Oxford English Dictionary and is thus a runner-up for Word of the Year.

And, of course, there’s a controversy:

Controversy erupts over the term blooks!

Just when you think you’ve been original.

A bit of controversy has arisen over the term ‘‘ itself, which turns out to have not one (see today’s post on the blog Greg Writes), but at least two prior claimants. One of them has managed to get his version of the etymology listed in the Wikipedia (at least until the editors get to work). But a more credible, and complete, history of the word shows up on the blog Tonypierce.com, who credits the original term to the inimitable Jeff Jarvis of Buzzmachine.

More on the dispute is here.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s