Biblioblog versus Biblicablog

So, because Esteban brought up my suggestion made in Biblical Studies Carnival XXVI (search the page for “biblicablog”) for an alternative monicker for blogs devoted to Bible-related issues, namely “biblicablog” in preference to the unspecific and widely otherwise-used “biblioblog,” I myself have bitten the bullet to count usage. In a Google search of “biblioblog” I received 552 hits. I just looked at every single one of those hits and made a tally of whether “biblioblog” is used in reference to Bible-related blogs, or general book-related blogs, including book reviews, library sites, etc. The findings:

Biblical: 129
Book-related: 360
Uncertain/neither: 5

So, on usage alone, we should find in favor of my neologism biblicablog, which with its seven Google hits, 4 relate to Biblical Studies, and 3 are domain name lists, so uncertain or unclaimed. It is, however, quite certain that no one wishing to form a blog of book reviews or on library science would choose any of the biblicablog domains, simply because the root biblica- refers to the Bible exclusively.

Now, I understand there is a certain amount of inertia, if not stubbornness involved in sticking with “biblioblog” as a description blogs devoted to Biblical Studies. But the word does not mean that etymologically, and usage is likewise against it, not merely in English, but internationally. Take a look at biblioblog.de and biblioblog.fr, for instance, or go ahead and do the whole Google thing yourself and see how overwhelmingly, by a factor of 2 to 1, biblioblog is used in reference to book- or library-related blogs, thus hewing closer to the root meaning of biblio- as referring to books in general and not merely one specific subset of books (ta biblia) or one book (the Bible).

Sticking to “biblioblog” and maintaining that its referent is “Biblical Studies” or more widely the Bible is what I’ve always thought of as a Humpty-Dumptyism:

“When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean

8 Replies to “Biblioblog versus Biblicablog”

  1. Oh, and to clarify why those numbers don’t add up to 552, I ignored the “sub-hits,” that is, those items appearing in the results pages which are indented and are simply other pages from the same site using the same word. I figured they’d likely represent the same usage as the top hit for that site.

  2. Hello Kevin,

    I wondering, why not just use the term biblicalblog? It’s only one more letter and it sounds a little smoother. At least, IMHO. :-)

    Pax,
    John

  3. John, I think your speech instrument must be a bit more facile than my own, since that’s not easier for me! That L to B transition just doesn’t work for me. Anyhow, that’s also just two words slapped together. Where’s the fun in that? We should never pass up a chance for a good neologism!

  4. Oh well, each to their own. In light of your objection, I change my proposal to: Bibliablog.

    Admittedly, it’s still two words smashed together. But that’s the best I can do. :-)

    Pax,
    John

  5. Yes, that works better, too, I think. Bu then “bibliablog” would be more strictly related to the Bible alone, etymologically, than to the Bible and related subjects, which is the connotation of “biblica” and also one of the reasons I chose it as part of the name for this blog. It’s a nuance that “biblical” doesn’t quite convey.

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