Christine Lovatt

Although we might think of the word blog as a recent addition to the dictionary, it’s nearly 20 years old.

It comes from the term weblog, coined in 1997, which means an online personal diary, where people write about day-to-day events in their lives – literally a web log.

In 1999, blogger Peter Merholz jokingly broke the word weblog into the phrase we blog in the sidebar of his blog, and the word blog was born. Since its inception, it has given rise to many related words – blogger, blogosphere, blogroll, etc. There’s even a blogaholic.

Anyone can start a blog. It’s your very own website, where you can share your thoughts with hundreds or thousands of readers, promote yourself, your business or your cause, or even earn a full- time living.

You might ask, why anyone would want to have their own blog, or read others? It’s not everyone’s idea of fun, reading about when some stranger had their lunch etc. But for many people, perhaps the answer lies in the fact that every human has a voice, and some wish their voice to be heard.

For the first time in history, ordinary people like you or I can reach a global audience with so little trouble. Because of the worldwide Internet, bloggers have the opportunity of reaching hundreds, or even thousands of people daily.

Many bloggers, instead of detailing their lives, write about something they are passionate about – politics, food, travel, sport, or even crosswords – and in some cases, when they gain a huge following, they are able to influence voters, purchasers and social activists.

My favourite blogs are by the Oxford and Collins dictionaries, blogs which discuss new word trends for wordlovers, like you and I.

For instance, I have just been reading about the new phrases, Fat Cat Thursday and Super Blue Moon, on the Collins Dictionary blog, and about the words hangry, Afrofuturism and Zumexit on the Oxford Dictionary blog.

Don’t worry, we won’t be rushing to include all this new vocabulary in our crosswords immediately, but if they eventually catch on we might.

Happy Puzzling!