What’s in a Name? Think Rare Origin for GobbledeGoox

Archeology, rare origin

Lydia Oyetun­ji threw down the chal­lenge by ask­ing “How You Decid­ed Your Blogs Name?” on her blog Live… Love… Share… On this blog’s first birth­day I thought per­haps it was time to share the rare origin.

Unusual Words

     One rare ori­gin, the pas­sion I have always had for unusu­al words. I search for them as I go through the dic­tio­nary every day.  This is why at one time antidis­es­tab­lish­men­tar­i­an­ism, once the longest word in the Eng­lish dic­tio­nary, was my favourite word. I liked the fact that it includ­ed chal­leng­ing ele­ments like “anti…” and “dis­es­tab­lish” in it, sen­ti­ments that chal­lenged tra­di­tion­al think­ing. It also has a par­tic­u­lar sound as it rolled across the mouth.
     Hav­ing had many favourite words over time, includ­ing gob­bledy­gook, I thought one of those would be the basis of the name of my blog.
     I have told the sto­ry before about invent­ing a word when I was 4 years old, on my way home from Kinder­gar­den in North Lon­don. We walked past a long con­crete wall that was both smooth and bumpy, with some rough patch­es. Appar­ent­ly I once said “Mum­my, look at this wall it is so ‘crick­le’.” She want­ed to know what I meant by that word. So I explained what I thought the word meant, showed her the wall and how crick­le it was. She felt it unusu­al that any four year old could invent a new word, when his knowl­edge of the lan­guage should have been limited.
     Since then I dis­cov­ered that rare orig­i­nal word has a def­i­n­i­tion, mean­ing a thin, sharp crack­ling sound. I have to say that I pre­fer my use of the word. Over the years she con­stant­ly remind­ed of this inven­tion. Truth is I still believe my orig­i­nal def­i­n­i­tion makes it a valid word.

The Arrival of Google

Google I remem­ber the day that Google was first unveiled to the world. A group of tech-heads hud­dled around a com­put­er screen won­der­ing what to do with this new search engine. I leaned over and typed “Peter B Giblett” then hit search. I had nev­er done that before, so it was an ide­al first search for the new engine. Those results did include a free­ware com­put­er pro­gram that I had pre­vi­ous­ly writ­ten (still avail­able when I last checked).
     What was fas­ci­nat­ing about Google, was not the fact that it was a new search engine, we had Alta-Vista, Yahoo and oth­ers at the time. The fas­ci­na­tion was for the rare ori­gin of the word itself. It was a pure inven­tion, but an invent­ed word that would over time become so impor­tant to our world.
     “Google” was appar­ent­ly a play on the word googol, a math­e­mat­i­cal con­cept — 10 fol­lowed by one hun­dred zeros. Wikipedia states the ori­gin as a merg­er of the words “go” and “ogle”. Per­son­al­ly I pre­fer the first def­i­n­i­tion which is clean and math­e­mat­i­cal. There were oth­er exam­ples, such as google eyed, which hails from the first decade of the 20th cen­tu­ry. I doubt this had any impact on the search engine inven­tors, who seemed to be able to cor­ner the mar­ket with this par­tic­u­lar word.

Gobbledygook

Fulfil the needs of the content?     Defined as “pre­ten­tious or unin­tel­li­gi­ble jar­gon, such as that used by offi­cials.” Pur­port­ed­ly first used by Demo­c­rat rep­re­sen­ta­tive Mau­ry Mav­er­ick of Texas. As a spe­cial note: the British ver­sion of this word is spelt with an “e” instead of the “y”.
     One of the worst things any writer can do is use unin­tel­li­gi­ble jar­gon, par­tic­u­lar­ly the jar­gon of their pro­fes­sion, intend­ed to give them an air of being an élite group. This hap­pens in any field of life, peo­ple like to paint their pro­fes­sion as some­thing spe­cial, when it is not. This is as true for com­put­er pro­gram­mers as it is for lawyers or accoun­tants. No spe­cial­ty can exist in a vac­u­um. I remem­ber talk­ing geek to my fel­low com­put­er pro­gram­mers, and may still do when I meet them. The only way to com­mu­ni­cate with nor­mal peo­ple is to give up all the baf­fle-gab and gob­bledy­gook, start speak­ing Eng­lish and com­mu­ni­cate with words every­one can understand.
     The word gob­bledy­gook is inter­est­ing. As well as the unusu­al spelling is has unusu­al sounds. When you say the word, it has an echo­ing effect in the mouth. The ‘b’ is reflect­ed in the ‘d’ and all the Gs have an almost rhyth­mic effect, yet hav­ing a poet­ic twist at the end with the ‘k’. Did Mav­er­ick invent it? I don’t know.

Creating a new Blog

Possibilities by Peter Giblett     In Feb­ru­ary 2016 it came time to cre­ate a new blog, of course I want­ed a name that was a sin­gle word, rather like the ethos brought by the word “Google”. Short names, 6 char­ac­ters and under, were all like­ly to be gone (even if I invent­ed one) unless I could find one of rare ori­gin. I tried a few ideas to see if there were some names that I could use. Dur­ing the lat­ter half of 2015 that I was research­ing pos­si­ble names. In the process came across a few exist­ing blogs, such as writer unboxed, writer beware, ter­ri­ble minds — to name a few.
     At one time I did own a site for my sur­name and could have reac­ti­vat­ed it, but decid­ed against this course of action. New actions need­ed a new place to work. I am a firm believ­er in that, hence the search for an inter­est­ing name.

Rare Origin?

     We are human, we err — it is a fact of life. It is what we learn that mat­ters the most. My blog was to be aimed at writ­ers and blog­gers who were seek­ing ways to improve their skills. Did the name have rare origins?
     Ideas often start as gob­bledy­gook, incom­plete, frag­ment­ed or scat­tered. Poten­tial­ly they have a very rare ori­gin or can be very com­mon­place. They have a nugget of some­thing in them and take time to form. Not so much a bad idea, but one that needs clar­i­fy­ing and putting in to focus. To show them to oth­ers then we must learn learn to make those ideas clear and explain­able. Tak­ing gob­bledy­gook and mak­ing some­thing of it, that is the ori­gin of the name, Gob­blede­Goox. The spir­it of Gob­blede­Goox is bound up in a unique word that embod­ies the prin­ci­ple that we can get bet­ter, we can improve, take some­thing half-baked and make it whole.
Full meaning?
     The goal help­ing ordi­nary, every­day blog­gers, like me, learn along the way. I learn every day and hope you do. My inten­tion; to tell peo­ple in plain Eng­lish lessons they may learn.
For exam­ple posts like:
Explain how to use cer­tain facil­i­ties that every blog­ger should know.
The same is true for:
The words used are plain Eng­lish, so any­one can under­stand. Blog­gers are not geeks, but there is not rea­son they can­not under­stand tech­nol­o­gy. These posts show all rel­e­vant steps along the way.

Challenges

     I am cur­rent­ly devel­op­ing my blog and am strug­gling with sev­er­al chal­lenges at the cur­rent time (where con­cepts are not ful­ly explained). That is not accept­able. I believe even the most com­plex of con­cepts should be explain­able in plain Eng­lish. Again that is the spir­it of GobbledeGoox.
     It is true that I had already been writ­ing about improv­ing writ­ing skills over more than three years. This often drew inspi­ra­tion from Wik­in­ut, where I am a site mod­er­a­tor. But Gob­blede­goox is not intend­ed to crit­i­cise. It is intend­ed as a means of self-help or self improve­ment. What are the pos­i­tive to be learned? This is a cru­cial ques­tion we should all ask.
     That is what must be drawn out and that is what lies behind much of my material.
Recent Con­tent

 

 

Buy Peter B. Giblett a cof­fee to thank him for reveal­ing the ori­gin of the name of this blog. This is in part to cel­e­brate the first anniver­sary of the blog. The images includ­ed here are from roy­al­ty free pub­lic domain image col­lec­tions, pho­tographs from Pix­abay, or from Peter Giblett’s per­son­al collection.

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3 Replies to “What’s in a Name? Think Rare Origin for GobbledeGoox”

  1. priscillaking says: Reply

    Some­times I wish I’d been more cre­ative in choos­ing a screen name. I want­ed to start writ­ing for a site that rec­om­mend­ed some­thing that could be a real person’s name. AOL used to gen­er­ate names based on where you were at the time, so from “KNGSPRTP” came “Priscil­la King.” At the time all the irrel­e­vant entries on Google were about Elvis Pres­ley. Since then a few hun­dred peo­ple have entered cyber­space, many claim­ing that “Priscil­la King” is their real name…well, I already own this brand, and peo­ple should choose a brand dif­fer­ent from their real-world names. 

    Lat­er I tried brand­ing the Cat Sanc­tu­ary. It was actu­al­ly ded­i­cat­ed as such in hon­or of a cat called Black Mag­ic. Zil­lions of pets are called Mag­ic. In cyber­space it had to be called “Graybelle’s Cat Sanc­tu­ary.” Gray­belle didn’t stay there for even one year, but she did have a more unusu­al name than any of the res­i­dent animals…

    1. Peter B. Giblett says: Reply

      Many peo­ple use their real names as com­pa­ny or brand names. Usu­al­ly cor­po­rate law allows that as the only excep­tion to first come, first served basis of names. With the Inter­net being inter­na­tion­al there can be two busi­ness­es hav­ing almost the same name in almost the same line of busi­ness yet only the first can grab the domain name.

      The name “Black Mag­ic” is fair­ly com­mon. To my knowl­edge there is a choco­late brand hav­ing the name as well as many oth­er prod­ucts. It is dif­fi­cult to be unique, but that should nt stop peo­ple from trying.

  2. […] this morn­ing. The polite con­grat­u­la­to­ry mes­sage in my noti­fi­ca­tions. The mean­ing is that the week I cel­e­brate the birth­day of Gog­glede­goox coin­ci­den­tal­ly hap­pens in the same week when I set­up my first blog. There is a coin­ci­dence, for a […]

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