Volumes of Nothing

It’s always been my intention to write something for my journal every day. It doesn’t matter what it’s about, so long as it’s written. There have been periods of time when I’ve been able to accomplish that. There have been other periods of time when I fail to update on weekends, or because of illness, or because of a more general malaise that stems not from illness but instead from lack of inspiration. Welcome to one of my lack of inspiration days.

I am supposed to be keeping a journal for my writing class. I don’t know if Salamander is what Teacher has in mind, but I have decided to take the easy way out and designate this as the official journal. Actually, I know that this is most definitely NOT what Teacher had in mind. We aren’t supposed to be keeping a diary of daily events, but rather a journal of ideas. I’ve got ideas in here, but it’s only part of what Salamander is about. I suppose this all comes down to what the difference is between a diary, a journal, and a blog. Problem is, I’m not entirely sure what the differences are supposed to be.

I made the mistake of Googling ” “the difference between” blog journal diary “. There is very little consensus out there about this, especially if one is doing the writing on-line. Generally, “diary” seems to mean an account of personal doings, though there’s not a lot of agreement on whether or not opinions should be expressed about the world outside of the diarist’s immediate experiences. “Journal” is a bit hazier, but seems to be a running commentary regarding a single theme. And don’t even try to find out what a blog is unless you really want to be confused. It’s a list of links; it’s a running commentary on a subject; it’s an online diary (begging the question once again of what a diary is), it’s a blend of personal doings and observations. Theonly single consistency I can find regarding a “blog” is that it has dated entries and is on-line (and I even found one place that takes exception to that definition).

Everyone has their opinion on the definition of “diary/journal/blog”, and they all think they are right. OK, then I’ve got an opinion too, and I think I’m right. When you’re writing on-line, there’s no difference. That’s the only possible explanation for the wide discrepancy of opinions. Write something, date it, put it with other things you’ve written and dated, and call it what you want. The rest will sort itself out eventually. Language has an amazing way of doing that.

The evolution of language is a marvelous thing to behold. A word can go from meaning one thing to meaning its opposite in the course of a single generation. “Bad” becomes “Bad”. New words spring from nowhere. Common words fade from use. I love the fact that language is so fluid that way. And I’ve always been amazed that the French cripple that process by what amounts to a selective breeding program for words.

In France, words aren’t permitted to wander in from the wild. They must be captivated, civilized, analyzed, have papers proving their breeding. I’m not sure if L’ Académie Française is saving the French language or putting it into mothballs, but that’s sufficient enough digression for a day where I have little to say for myself.

Echoing Whispers, Journal Writing Resources

journal vs. weblog, By Ryan Kawailania Ozawa

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  1. I have noticed while travelling in Britain and Ireland that what we American’s use for slang is taken quite literally and have learned to adjust my speech accordingly but I rather like American English as it is much more expressive.

  2. I’ve always found the evolution of language to be facinating. I stumbled across a show about a linguistic study that has been going on in your neck of the woods for about 40 years. I can’t remember who was conducting the study, but am sure it wasn’t anyone from Penn State. There is one neighborhood in Philly that they have been recording conversations with long time residents for the past 40 years. I guess they go in several times a year, and have conversations with the residents, then compare them to see if the sounds of the vowels are shifting, as well as log any new slang type terms that have popped up.

    Now you’ve got me thinking about this, I need to go out and do a search for it to see if anything new has cropped up in this since I last looked at it a few years ago.


  3. I LOVE these definitions on that first link you posted!

    Linkslut! OMG!

    Blogorrhea – A blogger who posts the mundane and minute details of their life in order to keep their blog active.

    Flamebait – An entry (link, comment, or post) written to create a reaction from other posters in order to start a flamewar on the topic.

    Flamewar – Multiple posts that attempt to discredit the other’s opinion. It is common for them to degrade into non productive name calling and insults not based on the original flamebait.

    Fram – Spam from friends. When people you know send you e-mail of lists, web sites, jokes, and other random information that is often reforwarded to even more people creating a huge distribution list.

    Linkslut – A website owner who wants to be linked to every other webpage, or someone who links to a page in hopes of receiving a reciprocal link from that page. Often occurs in blogs when someone links their blog to many other blogs in order to create more traffic to their site.

    Troll – People who wander through blogs reading them and not adding any comments at all. Also refers to someone who posts incorrectly, or posts inflammatory comments.

  4. The Latin name of the "felt flower" is Leontopodium kurilense. See, I photographed all the name tags of the flowers I liked, being the smart girl I am!

    The flower comes from Eastern Siberia, North Asia. Oh Salamander, my friend with a green thumb, please plant these flowers if you can and post pictures of your felt garden! The flowers were positively lovely, like from a fairytale.

  5. *~Salamander~*

    A journal of ideas, eh? Well you could use this until the Teacher tells you that this is not what his criteria means.

    You could always get a notebook and write your ideas and inspirations and stuff in there and then later on write it in here if its easier for you. Just a suggestion…

    Anyway have a good weekend!


  6. I do believe this entry fits the description of a journal of ideas. Well written and filled with your opinions on language and the meaning of similar words, etc.

    Re Yetzirah’s comment… I’ve known a few trolls. 😉

    Keep up the good writing.

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