Recently in the Meta-information Category

Introducing guest blogger Shmuel

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It occurred to me a while back that it might be interesting to have other folks who are interested in words and wordplay join me in blogging here, either temporarily or permanently.

As the first experiment in that direction, Shmuel has agreed to be a guest blogger here for the next month or so.

For those who don't know him:

Shmuel is probably best-known online for his abovelinked Soapbox blog, but he hasn't posted there for a while; lately he's been Twittering instead.

My first significant interactions with him, iIrc, were when he and I were both proofreaders at the online erotica magazine Clean Sheets. He had a sharp eye for prose problems of all sorts, from the punctuational to the grammatical, and his comments were often entertaining, interesting, and informative.

(And by the way, he's currently available for freelance copyediting, proofreading, and research. Or maybe I mean researching? Parallelism!)

We've kept in intermittent touch over the years, and he's been a regular reader and commenter here. When I started thinking about bringing guest bloggers aboard, he seemed like the obvious choice for guinea pig first guest blogger.

Welcome to the blog, Shmuel!

Going forward

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It's now been eight months since this blog went on hold. The plan was to integrate the old Words & Stuff columns into this blog, and integrate some entries from my main blog, and relaunch this blog as a new Words & Stuff blog.

Instead, I set it aside and tried not to think about it. It was too big a project to tackle.

But I've been gathering material all this time; especially Neology-style material (words I haven't seen before), but also various other stuff.

And this weekend, links to Words & Stuff from both Metafilter and Languagehat inspired me to get moving again.

I don't know how long it'll last before I run aground on the twin beaches of inertia and lack of time. But I'm gonna give it a try.

I won't necessarily stick to the very short entries that this blog was originally intended to focus on. But I also won't be doing full-blown 300- to 1200-word coherent columns on general topics. If I come across something cute and/or fun and/or short and/or interesting, I'll post it, without necessarily having to gather a bunch of related things.

P.S.: I've always hated the business-speak term "going forward," meaning "in the future." Perhaps using this title here will inspire me to do an entry about business-speak and buzzwords at some point.

Blog future

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I've been thinking for the past couple weeks, intermittently, about what to do with this blog.

It was originally going to be a place for me to post early cites of newly coined words, but that hasn't worked out so well; among other things, as I noted recently, most newly coined words that I see are obvious portmanteaus that don't strike me as especially interesting. (I should note that it was also originally going to be an experiment; I would try stuff out and see what worked and what didn't. I didn't have a fully formed plan from the start.)

So it's become mostly a place for me to post about words that I don't recall having encountered before, regardless of how old they are, and about interesting new-to-me etymologies of words I already know, and about a few other particular topics. But as is obvious to regular readers, I've been sporadic at best about posting. I have probably two or three dozen words lined up in my notes files to post about, but each one takes a little time to write up, and I delay and then before I know it it's been three or four weeks since my last post. Then I do a burst of posts all at once (set on a scheduled automatic release of about a day and a half between posts), and then the blog falls into neglect again.

Meanwhile, I've been occasionally going through some old mail related to my old Words & Stuff column, and noticing again that I never replied to or posted a lot of old reader comments.

And that the columns themselves have little or no context. Someone arrives at a column via a web search, and assumes that it's the only thing I ever wrote, and drops me a cryptic note about it. There's no easy navigation from one column to another, and no framing to make clear that each column is part of a greater whole.

So a couple of weeks back, it occurred to me that I could port all the old columns into this blog (and probably rename the blog), which would provide all sorts of useful advantages at once. And furthermore, I could repurpose this blog to become a sort of Words & Stuff 2.0; whenever I had a language-related note to post, even if not at all related to new words, I could post it here instead of in my regular journal.

I have also, on occasion, thought about having guest bloggers here. I think it's an interesting and probably good idea, but the control freak in me cringes at the idea of letting someone else into my blog.

I'm still not sure about any of this. Porting the old columns would take some time and work, so it's not likely to happen anytime in the next few weeks. And is it better to separate out language-related stuff, or to post it as part of my regular journal, one topic among many? And would the language blog lose a lot of its particular flavor if the entries here were regularly longer? One of my goals has been to generally keep entries here short and to the point, making this blog perhaps a little more friendly to those with limited reading time than my regular journal is.

Anyway. Haven't made any decisions yet, but thought it was worth posting to let y'all know what I'm thinking about.

Mind the gap

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Sorry about the long pause here over the past couple weeks. I haven't forgotten about this blog; just been busy, and keep neglecting to post the words that have been piling up. More soon.

In the beginning

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I keep coming across new-to-me words, unusual phrases and constructions, and other small items of potential philological interest. And I don't really have anywhere to put 'em.

So I'm gonna start keeping them in this here blog.

Feel free to post comments saying that you've seen an item before, or that you haven't, or that it's a common construction where you come from, or similar phrases, or whatever else you feel like saying.

I may later invite others to join me in this endeavor. For now, it's just an experiment.

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This page is an archive of recent entries in the Meta-information category.

Maledicta is the previous category.

Metaphors is the next category.

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