Saturday, January 28, 2023

Holiday Schedule

Great communication, guys.
Panel 1, caption “The Week After MLK Day”, a neighbor comes up to me, “Hey, they didn’t pick up my trash either. What’s going on? Is it because of the holiday last Monday?” Panel 2, I say, “Weird. It’s always been a normal schedule unless the holiday is ON pickup day.” They say, “I never heard anything about them changing it.” Panel 3, I take out my phone, “There’s nothing on the town website about it either. Hmm.” Panel 4, the next week, I’m reading the local paper, “‘Interesting article in the local paper. Trash cans lining the street all week. Apparently they changed the pickup schedule and just didn’t tell anyone.”

There seriously wasn’t even anything on the town website. If it was decided at a town meeting, no one bothered to tell anyone else about it.

Thursday, January 26, 2023

Language Of Confusion: Verse, Part IV

Back to the words that come from the Proto Indo European wer-to turn or bend. This week, more -vert/-verse words, some vert- words, and a bonus not vert word. Yay?
First, reverse and revert. Both showed up in the fourteenth century, with reverse coming from the Old French revers and revert (originally meaning to recover from illness) from the Anglo French reverter and Old French revertir. That can be traced to the Vulgar Latin revertire, from the classical Latin revertere, to return, while revers is from the Latin reversus, also from revertere. Vertere, as I’ve mentioned the previous weeks, means to turn, as it is from wer-. With the re- prefix meaning back, it’s to turn back. Fairly sensible.
Subvert of course has a very similar story. It showed up in the late fourteenth century meaning to raze, destroy, or overturn. It’s from the Old French subverir and classical Latin subvertere, to subvert or overturn. Sub- means under, so subverting is turning under something, apparently. And there’s really not much different with perverse and pervert either. Both showed up in the late fourteenth century, from the Old French pervers and pervertir, from the classical Latin verb pervertere, to pervert or corrupt. The per- is from the preposition per and means away here. Perverting something is turning it away.
Now it’s finally time for something different. Vertebra—as in your spine. It showed up in the early fifteenth century (vertebrate not until 1826), and it’s thought to be from vertere as well, with the idea that the spine is the “hinge” of the body. Plus there’s vertigo, which also showed up in the early fifteenth century, literally meaning “I am dizzy” in Latin. The verb is from vertere, because when you’re dizzy, you feel like you’re turning.
Finally today, reverberate showed up in the late sixteenth century, meaning to beat or drive back, then shortly after began to be used in relation to sound or noise. Reverberation showed up earlier, in the late fourteenth century, and originally it meant a flash of light or repercussion of air, not meaning an echo until the mid seventeenth century. It’s from the Old French reverberacion, Medieval Latin reverberationem, and the classical Latin verb reverberare, to reverberate, which is also where just plain reverberate comes from. The re- is the easy part, it just means back. Verberare means to beat or strike, related to verbena, a beating, and that is from wer- as well. So because sound turns back in an echo, we have reverberation.
Online Etymology Dictionary
Google Translate
University of Texas at Austin Linguistic Research Center
University of Texas at San Antonio’s page on Proto Indo European language
Dictionary of Medieval Latin
Encyclopaedia Britannica
Fordham University

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

From The Spamfiles

Spam has been surprisingly skimpy lately. I’m in no danger of running out, but still. Where are you, spammers?

Message from Mrs Irene Raya, who in the subject line misspells her name “Irere”.
Probably not a good idea to make any sort of business deal (which you know this has to be) with someone who misspells their own first name.

Message from Vivian Anderson, who repeats her name in the subject line and body of the email (twice), and for some reason has a period after her first name.
At least this one can spell her first name. Though she does seem to be in the habit of ending it with a period. It’s not Vivian Anderson. It’s Vivian. Anderson. Get it right.

Spam blog comment with lots of links to casinos, and something called “Pragmatic Play”.
Anyone else creeped out about what “Pragmatic Play” is? Because if I’m being honest, it sounds like a sex thing.

Message from Sgt. Connor, confidential, introducing herself as Sgt. Rianna Conner of the United States Army.
You’d think a sergeant would know you don’t need to capitalize the word Good.

A new follower on Twitter, with the name of “EVOL BRUTE HIS NAME JASON ETOY MASSY MASEY MASSEY”.
I’m… not even sure what this is supposed to be. What the hell is the Massy Masey Massey thing? Anyone have any ideas? How concerned should I be?

Saturday, January 21, 2023

Cloud Of Stench

It lingered in the air for quite a while.
Panel 1, I’m shopping in a store, panel 2, someone walks by, panel 3, the smell wafts over me, panel 4, hands covering my mouth, I say, “I didn’t know cigarettes came in human form.”
I know a lifetime of smoking has destroyed their ability to smell, but come on!

Thursday, January 19, 2023

Language Of Confusion: Verse, Part III

We’re back to looking at words related verse, which is from the Proto Indo European wer-, to turn or bend. This week, words with -vert in in them, which I have also done before, and now I’m doing it again along with some -verse words they’re related to.
Avert showed up in the mid fifteenth century, around the same time as averse, actually. Why is it vert instead of verse? Well, first of all, it comes from the Old French avertir (slightly different from averse’s origin), and that’s from the Vulgar Latin advertire. That’s from the classical Latin avertere, to turn away, the origin for averse, with the a- from ab-, off or away from, and the vertere meaning to turn.
Those words at least kind of seem related—avert is turning away, and averse is a more metaphorical turning away from something you’re against. But what about converse and convert? Convert showed up in the fourteenth century, specifically related to religious conversion. It’s from the Old French convertir, from the Vulgar Latin convertire, and classical Latin convertere, which is just to convert. And yes, converse can be traced back to that too, it’s just a longer journey. The con- prefix means with or together, and with vertere, converting is turning together. Uh, I guess. And that’s also a conversation?
Divert also seems weird when compared to diverse. It showed up in the early fifteenth century, from the Old French divertir and classical Latin divertere, just divert. Diverse is actually older, having shown up in the late fourteenth century—and in actuality, it’s older than that, as it used to be spelled divers in the late thirteenth century. It’s from the classical Latin diversus, different, which is also from divertere, with the prefix from dis-, meaning aside, so diverting is turning aside. Apparently the diverse means being turned all different ways—having a lot of differences.
Invert is relatively recent, having shown up in the sixteenth century, with inverse only being slightly older, from the mid fifteenth century. Invert is from the Old French invertir and classical Latin invertere, invert, while inverse is from inversus, upside down, the past participle of invertere. The in- here is from en and just means in, so to invert is to turn in, which I guess makes sense for inverting something.
Finally today, two -vert words that are obviously paired. Introvert showed up in the mid seventeenth century while extrovert was used off and on but not firmly in the lexicon until 1916 (and at first was spelled with an A instead of an O). Intro- means inward or inside, while the extro- is from extra- and means outside. Introverts turn inside, extroverts turn outside. And psychologists used the words to describe people, so that’s why we have them.
Online Etymology Dictionary
Google Translate
University of Texas at Austin Linguistic Research Center
University of Texas at San Antonio’s page on Proto Indo European language
Encyclopaedia Britannica

Tuesday, January 17, 2023

From The Spamfiles

First spam of the new year! Finally!!! I’m totally sick of all the introspection.

Spam from You’re Approved, with two periods in between the words, with a title saying Confirmation Needed, again with two periods between it, saying they can repair my home plain and simple
Two periods, so it’s too much to be the end of a sentence, but not enough to be an ellipsis. What are you, two periods? What do you mean???

Message from Sara RB saying Hi Robert I love you
Boy is she going to be disappointed when she finds out I’m not Robert.

Message from Confirm (with a heart emoji) saying unsubscribe from adult dating, then confirm to stop followed by a bunch of question marks
You have to subscribe to date adults? There’s something disturbing about this whole idea.

Message from Dish TV, saying I can get eight hundred forty dollars off my TV Bill with a VIP offer
Eight hundred forty dollars??? I know cable companies have a stranglehold on subscribers, but seriously how much are people paying for television? They know streaming services are only about a hundred fifty dollars a year, right?????

Twitter follower with Cyrillic letters for a name, no profile pic, the handle “Porno Aleksan”, and a link in their bio to Pornhub
Got this new follower a month or so ago, and of course they disappeared not long after. I’m surprised they didn’t at least put up a profile pic of a half-naked woman to entice me for their porn scam.

Saturday, January 14, 2023

Fallen Hero

The metal prong for plugs is not supposed to bend upwards.
Panel 1, I’m at my laptop when I hear a cat puking, Panel 2, I jump up and knock into the desk, yelling, “No! Don’t puke on the rug!” Panel 3, the laptop slides off the desk, Panel 4, I’m back, “Laptop! No!” Panel 5, I pick up the laptop, “Speak to me! Hmmm, it isn’t charging…” Panel 6, I’m looking concerned, “Come on, I put the plug back in. What is wrong with this thing?” Panel 7, close up on plug, which is bent, Panel 8, my horrified reaction, “Oh… Plugs aren’t supposed to bend that way…”
Honestly, I was worried the damage was in the charging port instead of the plug, but thankfully it was not. Still, this happened four days before Christmas, and I had to shell out ten bucks for shipping to make sure it would be here sometime before the frigging new year.