Ships used to chart their progress by heaving overboard a chunk of wood (the “log”) trailing a line and measuring how much of it unspooled in a given length of time. This allowed them to record the rate of the ship’s progress through the water. The resulting figures were recorded in a “log-book,” which was later abbreviated to “log.” The word’s meaning shifted from the device floating in the water to the book in which progress was recorded. “Log” also became a verb, referring to the process of making entries in a log-book. In modern times the word drifted away from seafaring matters to refer to any record of progress created out of periodic entries.

Around the turn of the millennium, keepers of journals on the World Wide Web began to shorten the term “Web log” to “blog,” and to refer to the activity of keeping a blog as “blogging.” The common term referring to a single entry in a blog is “post” (short for “posting”). But “post” is also a verb: you post an entry to your blog. Amidst all this overlapping terminology many confused people have begun to refer to the individual entries as “blogs,” writing ”I made a new blog today” when they mean “I put a new post on my blog today.”

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