When people have a tune they can’t get rid of they sometimes call it an earworm. I’m sure I can’t be the only person who also gets wordworms. You know, words that keep going round in your head because they’re strange or clunky or look funny. They don’t even have to be English words: ‘gmadlobt’, which means ‘thank you’ in Georgian, is a good candidate, as is ‘prst’, the Serbian/Croatian for ‘finger’.
For the past few days I’ve been haunted by the word ‘blog’. I blog, thou bloggest, he bloggeth, we blog (or of course weblog). I am blogging, I have blogged, I shall blog. I feel bloggish, I continue bloggedly. When I write my posts I blogin and blogout. And so on. Having toyed for a while with the English permutations, I then get tempted to turn it into other languages. I have no idea how the word really translates; my versions are purely phonetic and chase around in my head whenever there’s a gap between more sensible thoughts. So for the verb we would have *’bloguer’ in French, *’bloggare’ in Italian, *’blogar’ in Spanish, *’bloggen’ in German and Dutch, *’blogovat’ ‘ in Russian and so on and so forth. (The asterisk is what philologists use when they make up a word that they think ought to have existed.) The daftness of it becomes more apparent when I write it down. But surely, I say again, I can’t be the only person who does this kind of thing. Yes, I do like cryptic crosswords and wordplay of all sorts, but normally I keep it to myself.
I don’t know if anyone else has called their blog a ‘bloglet’, though I can’t believe they haven’t. It asks for it. A friend of mine said a bloglet sounds like a creature who lives in a dark cupboard under the stairs. I think she could be right. It’s probably got black or dark-brown velvety fur, very large paws, round green eyes and an expression that’s rapacious and obsessive but has a kind of maniacal humour about it. If you should happen to meet one, you can keep it happy by feeding it crumpets – so long as they’re spread with real butter and not margarine. If it’s margarine, well… I think there’s a story in there somewhere, if I could be bothered to write it. Or perhaps I wouldn’t need to write it, as the bloglet would spend its entire life writing its own blog. And blogging about the word ‘blog.’