Why Not “Facenewspaper” or “Facemagazine”?

I’m a word guy. I would be a thought guy, but that’s an insane amount of work. In my (faceless) book, style beats substance every time, because substance necessarily leads to responsibility, which necessarily leads to me putting in earplugs and pantomiming that I can’t hear anything being said.

Hey, it’s a lifestyle. Don’t judge.

Anyway, what’s with the word, “Facebook”? I wonder why he/they/it settled on that “word”?

Surely, in their meetings, at first it was just, “Face Book.”

But what was the thinking there?

Were they, like: “People have faces. People like books. I know! Face Book!”

Or was it:

“When you think of people, what do you think of? Faces! And what do we want people to do? Come to our site! And what will they do once they get to our site? Read! And what else do people read? Books! So Face and Book! Face Book! Facebook!”

Or maybe  it was: “Okay, we know people have faces. ‘People’ equals ‘faces’—we got that. But what need are we filling? Okay, what’s the one thing people want most in the world? To feel they’re important, right? And when you’re an important person, what’s always happening to you? You’re getting booked all the time! For interviews, talk shows, public appearances, Regis! So if we combine ‘face,” with ‘book,’ it’ll be like we’re combining the personal with the famous! Facebook! People will love that!!”

Because, see, we all want to be famous.

And why shouldn’t we? Is there really all that much difference between fame and love?

About John Shore

John Shore (who, fwiw, is straight) is the author of UNFAIR: Christians and the LGBT Question, and three other great books. He is founder of Unfundamentalist Christians (on Facebook here), and executive editor of the Unfundamentalist Christians group blog.  (In total John's two blogs receive some 250,000 views per month.) John is also co-founder of The NALT Christians Project, which was written about by TIME,  The Washington Post, and others. His website is JohnShore.com. You're invited to like John's Facebook page. Don't forget to sign up for his mucho-awesome newsletter.

  • http://helly.tripod.com Helly

    LOL, ok, ok, sorry. I think your last explanation is most plausible, because, really? Who reads books anymore in this digital information age?

    So, taking that last one a step further… let's not forget that after a famous person is booked for all these events, he/she then garners fame (and money!) by publishing a tell-all.. book! Fame AND Wealth! Beat that! ;-)

  • http://helly.tripod.com Helly

    I thought it was because the term “facebook” originally referred to college yearbooks way back when. At Facebook.com’s inception, only college students with valid college email addresses could register, there were no networks except collegiate ones. I registered with my UCSB email, and my friend list didn’t start expanding until FB opened up registration to everyone. I actually remember there being some complaints about Facebook turning into another Myspace by opening its registration to non-college students.

    • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

      Oh. Well, sure, there’s that.

  • Greta Sheppard

    …..or why not FaceBook-SmallTalk or Facebook small talk, whatever! I rarely go on it….much to the chagrin of my friends. I don't really care where "Molly went for lunch and what she ate" sort of thing. That's just small talk! Challenge my thinking and I'll likely respond.

  • http://mymenandme.wordpress.com Janelle

    Janelle thinks Facebook is as good a name as any.

    • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

      Janelle: Extremely funny. Wonderful. Thanks.

  • Mark Lattimore

    And what else floats?

    Gravy!

    Very small rocks!

    A duck!

    Sorry, the “what else do people read” was mildly reminiscent of Monty Python. As for why “Facebook” rather than magazine or newspaper…it’s two syllables. It just rolls off the tongue more easily.


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