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[personal profile] facetofcathy
I decided to some 3 weeks for Dreamwidth blogging this year. I have a few post planned, but I'm also going to use the list swiped from [personal profile] finch, which I've copied here to use as a master post. Before I start that (likely tomorrow), I wanted to define a term that's bound to come up in those posts.

Livejournal. Here's what it means:

Livejournal is a Synecdoche


I'll just give you a few minutes first while you make all the jokes.


Synecdoche: a figure of speech by which a part is put for the whole (as fifty sail for fifty ships), the whole for a part (as society for high society), the species for the genus (as cutthroat for assassin), the genus for the species (as a creature for a man), or the name of the material for the thing made (as boards for stage) [Source]


When the part is put for the whole.


People do this all the time. They say Livejournal when they mean SUP.

When the whole is put for a part.


People do this a lot. They say Livejournal and they mean their friends list or the people they hang with at some comm or they mean their fandom or they mean the anon meme they spend all their time at.

People do this in another way too—when they say Livejournal, and they mean the people who manage Livejournal.com, the employees and the volunteers, the person who writes the News posts or answers support requests.

The species for the genus.


People do this too. Mostly when they talk about how this or that fandom is on Livejournal, and they really mean on all the journal systems including LJ and IJ and JF and DW and maybe even Tumblr. You find this one on Fanlore articles, the TWC blog, academic blogs and people on all those journal sites talking about fandom.


The genus for the species.


People do this one as well. When they say Livejournal, and they mean the individual blogs on Livejournal. They talk about the culture of livejournal, how the bloggers write and the commenters comment, about how the place is so harsh or so fun or so superficial or so welcoming.

The material for the thing made.


People do this a lot too. When they say Livejournal, and they mean the fic they love that is posted there or the conversations they've had in those comms and memes. They mean the photos that get posted, the art, the squee, the serious business--all of it. They mean the things that they and their friends have made out of Livejournal's posting box.



It helps to remember when you read that word, that not so simple term: Livejournal, that when she said Livejournal sucks, she meant SUP, not you, your friends list and everyone you love and care about.

It helps to remember when you write that word, that not so simple word, that when you say Livejournal is wonderful and you love it, and you mean all the great fic you've read, she might read it as your love for that infuriating News post she just read or support for the interstitial ad she just had to click through to read your post.

And rinse and repeat in all the combinations all those meanings can produce, until no one understands anyone anymore.



When I say Livejournal, I sometimes do mean SUP, although that's a lazy way of talking and I should stop.

I also sometimes mean the staff and the volunteers and that infuriating News post, and I seem to be anthropomorphizing the word when I do this. A lot of us do this. Livejournal is this rabid goat-beast with evil red eyes that is menacing us.

I don't have a friend's list and I don't very often think of the comments I read or the fic I find there as Livejournal. My own words are gone from there now.

I do sometimes think of Livejournal as that collection of individuals who blog there, as a culture, or style of conversation. Cultures and styles plural might be more apt.

Mostly though, when I say Livejournal, I really do just mean that journalling platform, that I don't use anymore, but many people do.

So when I say Livejournal, I don't mean you or your friends or your words or your fic or your memories of fandom or how much you love all those things. And I'll try to remember to make sure you can tell that by how I use the word.

Date: 2011-04-25 12:10 pm (UTC)
anotherslashfan: sign reading f... (blotted out) censorship (Default)
From: [personal profile] anotherslashfan
Reading this was a delight.

Date: 2011-04-26 08:06 pm (UTC)
skaredykat: TLM - 50,000 C.E. (Default)
From: [personal profile] skaredykat

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