Tuesday, October 16, 2012


Birth of and Death of a Flog, by Mean Eileen, Editing Queen

September 2010

When David Stern was first asked to write a Blog, he wasn’t sure if “go write a Blog” was a trendy alter-colloquialism for “take a hike” (or something else that was anatomically impossible).   But being a calm and mostly rational person, he pushed back his initial brawl impulse and instead went directly to Wikipedia, not passing “go” or collecting $200. 
“A blog,” he reported to me, “is a portmanteau.”
“Port Manteau … is that in the Caribbean?”  Visions of white sandy beaches and clear blue/green water invaded my mind, pushing David’s linguistics lesson completely out.  I had conjured up steel drums and could almost smell salty air when David abruptly brought me back to hot, dry, Scottsdale in September reality.  For those of you not familiar – September is the most miserable month in Scottsdale.  Everyone is sick of the heat which will continue on at least another month and it seems like everywhere else on the planet is experiencing cooling days and even cooler nights.  But I digress.
Sullenly, I refocused on what David was saying.  He explained that a portmanteau is a combination of words that creates a new word. 
“Like Brangelina?”
Impatiently he huffed, “Like web and log – drop the we in web and add the b to log.  Get it?  Time is my mortal enemy,” he continued.  “If I become a prolific blogger, I’m going to have to give up some other activity.”
I pointed out he was writing a book about giving up golf and he shrieked, “THAT’S IT!!!  Golf is too damn hard anyway.  As of this moment, I am an ex-golfer and a newly hatched Blogger.  But I’m going to create my own portmanteau …replace the b on blog with an f and wha-lah!  Flog.”
“Flog,” I repeated.  “Flog means to beat or whip severely.”
David smirked and said, “Flog” is Golf spelled backward.  And can there really be too many F-words?”
Fast forward to October 2012
“How long have I been writing my Flog?” David asked.  “And does anybody read it?”
“You’ve been writing the Flog for two years and yes, people read it.  I can tell by the number of hits the webpage gets."
David pondered this info.  “Hits.  Any runs or errors?”  I decided to let that go.
I recently Googled “the Flog” and was surprised to see that in addition to David’s cleverly titled (by me) Flog entries, there were several others using  The Flog. 
There is Felicia Day’s video blog (vlog) on geekandsundry.com.   I couldn’t determine how long she has been using “the Flog” but I assume she has no life other than to obsessively check David’s Flog and got hung up on the name.  Okay, no life other than the acting, writing, producing, cancer-curing, puppy rescuing, etc. etc.  Still, won’t she be surprised when she reads this. 
Another more amazing Google find, was Chris Fabry’s Flog.  Now, Chris Fabry has some sort of clairvoyance because he started using David’s blog title two years before David even thought of it. Chris Fabry is an author and radio show host, has nine kids and lives in Tucson.
This is extremely unfortunate because David is now on a quest for a new blog title.  I think David is worried that if it comes down to fisticuffs over exclusive rights to The Flog, the Fabry family outnumbers his own significantly (although I’m pretty sure Izzy and Kaz could kick some serious bootay).  I personally like The Flog and think he should stay with it.  In his wiki-search for enlightenment on the subject of blogs, he discovered a confusing word; disambiguation.  It’s a term Wikipedia coined which means clarification. Why they didn’t use clarification I don’t know – David suggests the Wiki-folk are just being undisambiguous.  
So David will continue testing out new blog names – mostly because he doesn’t want a title others are using and he really wants to use his new portmanteau-ish word, undisambiguouslessly when he describes the reason for the new Flog – uh- Blog (clog, schlog, polliwog, etc.).  I guess he could apply it to his consideration of becoming an ex-ex-golfer.
Stay tuned.  Except for you, Felicia Day – shouldn’t you be drafting schematics for an eco-friendly space travel conveyance or something?

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