Political pundit and NYT "On Language" columnist William Safire is blogging for Oxford University Press, and he's also wondering who the "original blogger" was. Who committed the original sin? "Hundreds of weblog pioneers will compete for that title, and it will be interesting to see who they will consense upon." Whoa. He used the word "consense" in a blog! Other than that victory, Safire's inaugural post is just as circular and confusing as "On Language."

In the search for the Grand Originator, bloxicographers should not limit themselves to finding the first to use the Internet. "Blogging", as it will be understood, is broader than "creating a weblog to express a personal opinion and/or to establish an information community." Although the word "blogosphere" was coined in 1999 by Brad L. Graham "as a joke" and re-minted in all seriousness in 2002 by William Quick with his Daily Pundit, we ought to dig more deeply to place blogging in the great scheme of human communication. That means we should reach back in history to find the person who first popularized the idea of influencing the world by using some medium to get across his ideas to large groups.

[Oxford University Press blog]