Blogging a Dead Horse…

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I think if you’re a blogger, and therefore a writer, then by virtue of this, you possess an enquiring mind.    Writing is thinking “on paper” (to use an anachronism).

When I first considered a foray into blogging, my enquiring mind, and my love of semantics, wanted to know more about this “word” – blog.

Other bloggers might well read this and go,

“Uh Duh!!  Done that already, about three billion years ago!!”  My apologies to them.

“What about the word “blog” then?”, others may reluctantly ask, but lacking the conviction that they really care.  Their shoulders sagging in utter world-weary (not to mention word-weary) resignation, that every second bloody second there’s more zeitgeist (as if we didn’t have enough already!!!).

What do we call it – linguistically speaking (is that tautology?), if we take two words, WEB and LOG, then make them into one word, WEBLOG, then drop the first two letters to form the “word” BLOG?

I’d just finished writing the foregoing, when my mate walks in, and says “What’s a portmanteau?”, which you’d have to admit is no ordinary question; he possesses an enquiring mind too.

I say, “French for suitcase I think, why?, what’s the context?”.  (Nota Bene – he has no idea what I’m writing about.) He replies, “A portmanteau word; apparently ‘blog’ is a portmanteau word”.

Wow!!!  Synchronicity.  Love that.

“Hang on”, I reply,  “I’ll look-it up on an-extremely-well-known-leading-brand-of-search-engines” (no, I’m not going to say it…. again).

Here’s the gist.  In Victorian England the word portmanteau was used to mean a suitcase of sorts, however in the original French, it was more like a kind of clothes horse… A bit like a pre turn of the century (the 20th, not the 21st) Corby trouser press!!  Ultimately what it means in terms of semantics is that two words have been compressed into one, but the resulting word retains the meanings of both of it’s parent words. Nice. Tidy!

So, do we apostrophise?  Is it ‘blog, or is that too pernickety?  I’m sure the good people at the O.E.D. would say not, but they’d probably have to be some of the most retentive people in the cosmos – n’est pas?

So to reiterate, I apologise if this subject has been flogged and blogged to death already, but for the sake of my own enquiring mind, I needed to enquire.

And still more parentheses….. (I feel as if I need to add a disclaimer of sorts… For anyone not familiar with the expression ‘to flog a dead horse’ – it means to continue to discuss and debate a point which has already been settled – something I’m pretty good at as you can tell – I’m the kind of person who explains jokes!!!   I would hate anyone to think that I’m some kind of equine sadist – Heck, I’m virtually a vegetarian (little fishes that swim, and flightless birds excluded) – I don’t eat or indeed flog, quadrupeds of any sort.  Hope that’s clear.)

Next week, my lovelies,

rooshkie. x.

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Rooshkie

So the first one should really be an explanation of the name of this blog, which is also my nickname.

I Googled it, of course!  I wanted to see what would be thrown up by the search engine, and see if anyone else was using the name for anything, and see if the web had a definition for it.

So before I tell you the reason for the nickname, I’ll tell you what Google said (yes, I realise that I’m anthropomorphising “Google”, but Hell, who doesn’t).

“Rooshkie” – misspelling of “Rushkie”, slang term for a person from Russia.

“Rooshkie” – amazingly someone else was using it as a ‘handle’ in some pseudo World of Warcraft kind of game, so let me assure you, that ain’t me!!!

In The Urban Dictionary, which I find disturbing at times, someone had added that a “Rooshkie”, and I think he meant a “Rushkie” was a genuine kind of Russian bloke who “looked after his boys” or something.  All sounded a bit too Russian Mafia for my liking.

So my “Rooshkie” moniker was created many moons ago, on a big night out with the girls, on the Stollie.  Probably over fifteen years ago.   Having consumed more than our fair share of Stollie (not being entirely sure what our fair share was), we lapsed into Russian-ising everything we said, in homage to our love of Vodka.  Especially Stolichnaya.  (No, I’m not getting an advertising kick back from Stolichnaya… However, should they feel that I deserve a little reward… ’nuff said… *cheeky wink*).

My name, the one that my honoured parents gave me, is Sarah.  So slurring and giggling our way through Russianising our names, I became Sarooshka, then Rooshka, then Rooshkie, and on occasion Rooshkie Tooshkie in homage to my shapely arse (Thank you kind friends).

So that’s pretty much how it happened.  Nothing earth shattering there.  But it stuck.  The other girls Russianised names did not, mine did, for some reason.  And I love it.  I love hearing my mates call me Rooshkie.  It’s my special name.  It warms my heart.

My mates called me Rooshkie so naturally, that anyone we met, met me as Rooshkie.  I was referred to as Rooshkie, and so on.  I’m sure there were people I met and acquainted with (I’m using acquainted as a verb), who never knew my real name.

Years later, I bumped into a friend of a friend in a Sydney pub.  She said, “Hey, I was talking to someone about you the other day”, “Oh right” says I.  She told me who it was, but I don’t recall that now.  Anyhow, she went on to say that this mutual acquaintance bloke had referred to me as “THAT MAD RUSSIAN CHICK”.

Hilarious that this guy thought I was of Russian descent. In fact, I’m a Pommie / quarter Irish by birth and a naturalised Aussie. I was pretty chuffed about it to tell the truth.  I mean it could have been worse.  There are worse things than being known as “THAT MAD RUSSIAN CHICK”.

Surely Oscar Wilde was right when he said,

“The only thing worse than being talked about, is not being talked about”.

Next week, my lovelies, why blog?

rooshkie. x.