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BTM

I think "blog" as a transitive verb is ugly, no matter the context. I'm not sure I grasp your distinction regarding "finite project(s) with a single focus." I know this is a funny thing to ask after such a lengthy (and interesting!) post, but might you elaborate on your reasoning? Because it seems to me that David Plotz is still merely blogging ABOUT the Bible, no matter how comprehensive his effort.

Further: If we do grant that Plotz is "blogging the Bible," don't we have to grant that Glenn Reynolds is "blogging a New York Times story" when he writes one sentence with a link? If not, why not?

There's something about "blog" as transitive verb that feels deliberate, self-conscious, political. It's got that pushy, early '00s, tech-evangelism vibe. Every time I encounter it, I can't help but sense an embedded message: "I'm helping change the world with my embrace of this exciting communications medium." I know that's a lot to read into a little jargon -- but that's the risk writers take when they try to bend the language into new shapes.

Greg Myers

BTM, I'll grant your point that the usage of blog as a transitive verb might be ugly; there is certainly something 'self-conscious' and even 'pushy' about it (though I don't know if that makes it political). In 1989 I published a book called 'Writing Biology', and in the preface I explained that meant I was talking about how writing constructed the discipline of biology, so I wasn't just analysing writing *about* biology. There were lots of other academic books at the time with similar titles: 'Writing Culture', 'Reading Woman'. So it may well be that the device of using the present continuous this way (rather than the verb taking an object) may sound rather pushy and yes, dated, even more dated than you say. It reminds me of those hyphens and parentheses that were once fashionable in literary theory. As with any slightly unconventional usage, it is drawing attention to itself in a self-conscious way, and that seems to be true too of 'Blogging the Bible'.

I can't claim any empirical basis for my distinction, because I didn't find a large sample of blogs that use this transitive sense of the verb, having no better tool than searching for 'blogging the'. Maybe some bloggers do use it to mean 'blogging about'. But I'd still argue there is a distinction to be made, between the kind of blog that gathers bits from all over the place ('Rebecca's Pocket'), and the blog as a project (like Munro-bagging or walking to Santiago or reading all the works of Trollope). But it is not just a project, the blog goes with the project every step of the way, as the record of it, like the pencil marks on the doorframe as a child grows up, and stops when the project is done. Glenn Reynolds called his blog 'Instapundit', which allows him to comment on ten unrelated topics in an hour; if he had called it 'Blogging the New York "Times"', I for one would have expected him to read through the 'Times', every day, writing a post or two on what he found there, resisting the urge to link to a bunch of conservative blogs for other stories. (And I wouldn't mind reading someone who was 'blogging the "Times"', finding something interesting every day that would otherwise be buried in its bulk, though I'm not sure Professor Reynolds would be my choice of guide).

Apologies for the length of this comment on a comment on a post; I really should just go find out if this is the way bloggers use this construction.

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