Thursday, October 25, 2012


The word "blog" is a portmanteau derived from "web" and "log", because the earliest "blogs" were simply online diaries or online logs. I thought that it might be fun to create fictional blogs for famous literary or philosophical figures that are living in the present and sharing their personal thoughts with the world in the form of blog posts. I therefore proudly coined the portmanteau "flog", derived from "fictional" and "blog", but the “f” could represent a number of other f-words, such as "frustration", “funny” or “fake”. The words "flog" and “flogging” would also evoke images of literary characters being flogged by the challenges of contemporary life, i.e. imagine Goethe struggling with the fact that he has just written down a brilliant poem, but for some unfathomable reason, Windows Vista has crashed, his USB flash drive has become unreadable and the poem is lost forever. 

I googled the term "flog", just to make sure that it was truly unique and novel, but Wikipedia revealed that the word has already been taken. In digispeak, “flog” is used in a whole host of contexts, including “fictional blog”, “food blog”, “fake blog”. I then decided to coin a new portmanteau (I only recently learned what this word means, so I have the urge to keep on using it) – “phlog”, derived from “philosophical blog”. It turns out that “phlog” is already in use, apparently for a blog written with a Gopher protocol. I don’t really understand what that means, but I know that I cannot use it.

I have finally come up with a truly original portmanteau: “Phflog” – philosophical fictional blog. It is pronounced /fflɒɡ/ and the only way to distinguish it from just plain old “flog” is that “phflog” has a prolonged “f” sound in the beginning. I will soon start with some phflog-posts, probably some for Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and for Friedrich Nietzsche, both of them living in the present day USA. The phflogs will contain fragments of their writings or quotes from their books, intermingled with some present day events. This is a bit of an experiment and I would like to see where it goes.

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