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March 1, 2007

Problematic Neologism

I am intrigued, even persuaded, by Whimsley's thought that it would be useful to have word meaning "skepticism about blogging" -- but not convinced that "ablosticism" will quite cut the semantic mustard.

For one thing, fusion of "blog" and "agnosticism" should probably yield "ablogsticism," just for consistency. This coinage sounds hideous, but not much more so than "blog" itself.

The deeper problem is that the root of "agnostic" is "gnostic," meaning "one who has knowledge." (In particular, the higher, secret knowledge of the nature of God that various forms of gnosticism claimed to make available.)

Agnosticism is the perspective that no definite knowledge of God's existence (or nonexistence, for that matter) is possible. Correspondingly, it seems as if an "ablogstic" -- or "ablostic," if you must -- would be someone who refused to blog on principle.

Yes, yes, I am being picky. In any case, I fully endorse Whimsley's sentiments:

If you aim to gain an audience you have to pick up on what other bloggers are writing about and respond within hours. So really, blogging just isn't my thing. The arguments go nowhere, no one changes their mind, and the signal/noise ratio is very low. The blogging world is a world built for quick-typing extroverts who don't go in too much for second thoughts.

Damn straight. Whereas I almost never have a thought that isn't a second thought -- or a second thought about a second thought. The word for this is melancholia.

Posted by smclemee at March 1, 2007 5:11 PM


Sicne we all konw teh trcik abuot writnig prefetcly intelilgilbe sentneces so lnog as the intiial and fnial letetrs remian teh smae -- or the wrod is vrey shrot -- why nto tyr out smoethnig liek "agblosticism"? Hsa scuh a ncie rnig to it, no?

Posted by: Scott Eric Kaufman at March 1, 2007 5:56 PM

I shuold hvae clciked on teh lnik frist.

Posted by: Scott Eric Kaufman at March 1, 2007 5:57 PM

It was indeed "agblosticism" that I intended - because of the ncie rnig.

Perhaps it is a mistake to try to promote neologisms that appeal mainly to people who have second thoughts about everything? Not a good crowd for evangelism. But thanks for the reflections.

Posted by: tom s. at March 1, 2007 7:39 PM

Perhaps "kotskonian" would be a good word for "blog skeptic."

Posted by: Adam Kotsko at March 2, 2007 3:17 PM