"They are expanding the Vogue Web site and getting more involved with the Internet. But Anna hates the word 'blog' so much, she refuses to call anything on her site a blog and has charged her staff with coming up with a new word that isn't as garish-sounding. She wants it ASAP - in time for launch."
Although I personally wouldn't describe the word blog as garish, I don't disagree with the imperious Ms. Wintour's aversion. Words like "nerdy" and "vaguely embarrassing" seem more apt when applied to blog, bloggers, blogging or any variant thereof. Let's face it: it's not exactly dignified, and it entirely lacks elegance.
I always feel compelled to do a little scrape, shuffle, smirk when mentioning that I have a blog. At family gatherings or art openinings, people smile at me indulgently, amused by the mere utterance of such a goofy sounding word. As far as I can remember, its mention has never once commanded respect. Usually there is a vague nod of fuzzy understanding and little follow through to find out what it actually is, or how they might read it.
This reaction is in opposition to what a lot of blogs are though... while I try not to take the whole endeavor too seriously, I am attached to my blog, and the scads of blogs I read, as an outlet for ideas and opinions, many of them freed from the traditional (and sometimes suffocating) conventions of expository and/or journalistic writing. (With that freedom comes peril, yes, but that's a topic for another post.)
The fact that the word blog has geeky/tech connotations is limiting. People don't feel like they can't pick up a newspaper and at least try to read it, but often when faced with the prospect of blog-reading, many are are too intimidated by it's geeky provenance. My mom is a good example of this. Even though she loves herself some eBay, the whole blog concept is a bit too disorienting for her, so she's only even slightly aware of Personism, which is kind of a bummer because I do put a lot of effort into it.
What's the alternative though? Journal? That reminds me of the faux-leather bound volume I kept in junior high - the one with a unicorn on the front. Web log? Those two words, progenitor of the word blog itself, also form awkwardly on the tongue. (And I think that awkwardness was at least part of the reason that the term blog was created, back in the day.)