I’ve posted about this before, and this formed my contribution to the Guardian style guide but it bears repeating, because so many people seem to muddle them up.
Or, to put it another way:
Got it? Good.
I’m sorry to suddenly become the nomenclature-nazi, but when people interchange words like those above it just gets confusing. Saying “I’ve just finished a giant blog” or “I’m writing a blog about cheese” confuses the container object for the constituent part.
A blog carries with it expectations or overtones of archive, pace, time, multiple postings. Blogs don’t finish. If you’re writing a blog about cheese then I expect to see lots of posts about cheese, exploring dairy products from all angles, not one entry, about Edam.
Likewise, people occasionally say “there are a lot of nice bloggers on my blog” which is nice and everything, but they have a different relationship than you to the content. You wrote it; they responded to what you wrote. You are the blogger; they are the commenter.
It’s a small distinction, but it’s important.
That is all.
PS Some have asked with what authority I make this bold linguistic claim. The answer is: I’ve been blogging for eleven years, since it began with a W.
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In posting this comment, I realise that I am not actually posting it. I also had some other points I was going to pop in the post-that-is-not-a-post, but then realised that popping something in the post could be misconstrued as an analogue activity. ‘It’s a small distinction, but it’s important.’ Is it really? Having said that you could call people who breach the blogging etiquette ‘dastardly bloggards’.
You ask “Is it really [important]?”
Yes. It is. To me, at least. But then I’m also a stickler for correct apostrophication.
I understand that language and meaning evolves over time – semantic drift – and that if people misunderstand whether you’re referring to the container or the individual object, it’s unlikely to cause a huge amount of pain or trouble. But I think it’s a style thing – some people and organisations may be happy to risk ambuguity, but why bother, if there are clear words to differentiate between things?
Thank you for this, Meg.
And Tony, you can indeed ‘post’ a comment.
But it is a comment and not a post.
Oh it’s such a TERRIBLE, TERRIBLE thing to say, “Hey, I just wrote a new blog for my website.” I hear it all the time, and it’s so aggravating. It bothers me even more when editors or grammar-Nazis call posts “blogs.” I work at a newspaper that has an all-but-disregarded online part to it, so I hear this all the time.
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