kirk's commonplace blog

November 15, 2018
In FB comments the other day on my post about the search engine, and how rich a resource two decades of blog has become for me, I am reminded of a term for the concept I liked once upon a time - I am following the tradition of the "commonplace book" - or in verb form, "commonplacing".

The term is a bit unfortunate, because we now read commonplace as "ordinary, boring, dime-a-dozen", but if you look at the parts of the compound word, the meaning can be of a "common place" to hold on to quotes and other transferrable tidbits.

Actually the etymology "commonplace" is a bit of a mess - looking at the wikipedia page for Commonplace book there's a claim that "commonplace" is a translation of locus communis. Except that term seems to be a different beast - how different writers might have a topic or phrase in common - tropes, basically. In this sense the "commonplace book" is inly locus communis in the sense of "stuff I the collector ran into".

Thinking about it more I'm increasingly suspect of the derivation, especially seeing as how "commonplace" means "not very good or interesting".
(I guess "common" alone has that double meaning.)

I wish the term was more like "a gather-book", where things are gathered together from myriad sources for future reference.

Of course, "blogging" as a term has its own duality- usually a blog is either more focused on "commonplacing" (and emphasizing the outward link) or more focused on "journaling", people writing their own observations, often in diary kind of way. It's a spectrum, though I think most sites lean one way or the other.
Speaking of commonplacing, did I really forget to send out a link to the Knuckle Tattoo Generator?

I think that's the font I ended up using on my devblog...