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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.