Saturday, July 14, 2018

Why I Hate Helping

I hate it when my mom asks me to help her with something. It’s not like I can say no. Or do anything right ever, apparently.
For some reason, the bottom screw just wouldn’t go in further after a certain point. But she accepted it because at least it wasn’t loose anymore.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Language of Confusion: -Cise, Part I

Not a big huge series this time, just a two-parter. Barring any unforeseen circumstances, like a bunch of new words being added to the dictionary next week.

Precise first showed up in the mid fifteenth century from the Middle French precis, condensed or cut short. French took it from the Medieval Latin precisus and classical Latin praecisus, cut off or abridged, from the verb praecidere, to cut off. The pre- means before, and the -cidere comes from caedere, hack or cut, which can be traced back to the Proto Indo European kae-id-, to strike. Plus there’s also imprecise, which showed up in 1804 and is a mix of in, opposite, and precise, so it’s just the opposite of precise.

Decisive showed up in the early seventeenth century, coming from the Medieval Latin decisivus and classical Latin decis, from the verb decidere, which could mean decide or also drop or fall off. The word decide showed up much earlier than decisive, having been here since the late fourteenth century by way of the Old French decider. But it too comes from  decider, which is a mix of de-, off, and caedere, to cut. Cut off, drop off…decide?

Concise showed up in the late sixteenth century from the classical Latin concisus, cutshort or brief. Here the con- comes from com-, which is only thought to be intensive here , so mixed with the caedere it’s to really cut. I guess that’s being  concise.

Excise showed up in the late fifteenth century meaning a tax on goods and not to cut something out until a century later. Which is kind of weird considering that’s what the Latin version of the word means. Excisus and the verb form excidere, mean, respectively, cut and drop, fall, or prune a mix of ex-, out, and caedere). So why do we have an excise tax? Because the tax was originally the Middle Dutch excijs/accijs, which means tax, and somehow got mixed up with excise. That might be the stupidest origin for a word I’ve ever heard.


Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Mid-Year Check In

Well, this year’s about half over, and I know I’m saying “Thank god, just please make the nightmare end sooner.”

Anyway! It’s about time I look at the resolutions I set up for this year because I can’t remember what any of them actually are.

Resolutions 2018
1. Figure out some way to better keep track of my goals and resolutions. I used to use a sticky note on my desktop, but I hate it looking cluttered…
I put the sticky note back on my desk top. At least I’m remembering some goals.

2. Write a new book.
Did this.

3. Actually finish a book this year!
Looking pretty good that this is going to happen.

4. Once again, try to eat better. Cut back on sugar, and whatnot.
I made this a goal? Hm. Whoops.

5. Takeover/destroy the world. Which it’ll be will probably depend on my mood.
At this rate, I’m leaning towards destroy.

6. Find something fun to do in my spare time. I need more fun. We all need more fun.
Always make sure to have fun.

7. Write something every day. Well, at least this will be easy.
Pretty much every day, except for the weekends. Not bad, if I do say so myself.

I’m really on track this year. Which proves one thing: as the world dissolves into an unceasing nightmare, I will do anything to escape it, even actual work.

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Go Fourth

Yeah, these are my feelings about parades in a nutshell.

Don’t put me in crowds and not expect rampages to happen.

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Language of Confusion: Shook Up

I’ve had these words on the brain lately. Possibly because I keep finding them in my MS.

Shook showed up in 1891, which is relatively recent. It comes from shake, which is much older, having shown up in the fourteenth century. It comes from the Old English sceacan, which could mean shake, or move something, or depart. The earliest language that it was known was as the Proto Germanic skakanan. Although that doesn’t necessarily mean that they were the one who came up with it.

Yes, these words are also connected. Tremor showed up in the late fourteenth century meaning terror, which seems weird, but it comes from the Old French tremor, which could mean terror or quaking (I guess a tremor is something you fear). It comes from the classical Latin tremorem (tremor), which is from the verb tremere, to shiver or tremble. Which brings tremble into the picture. It also showed up in the fourteenth century, and also from the Old French, in this case trembler. It came to us from the Vulgar Latin tremulare, which was from the classical Latin tremulus (trembling), which again is derived from tremere. Tremere can actually be traced to the Proto Indo European trem-, to tremble, so this word has stayed remarkably static over the millennia.

Shiver has two definitions, one that means splinter, and the other that means shake, and as far as I can tell, they aren’t related. The shaking shiver showed up in the fifteenth century as an alteration of chiveren, which meant shiver and showed up in the thirteenth century. Before that it’s a big old question mark. Like shake, it just kind of appeared one day.

Shudder showed up in the early fourteenth century, but not much is known about where it comes from. It might be from the Middle Dutch schuderen, to shudder, or the MiddleLow German  schoderen, both of which come from the Proto Germanic skuth-, to shake. But that’s not for sure, no matter how much it seems to make sense.

Quiver showed up in the late fifteenth century and before you ask, no, it’s not related to the thing you hold arrows in. That one is French in origin and this one is… well, probably not. No one’s really sure where it came from. It might be imitative, which means that people thought that shivering sounded like quiver. Or it might be related to quaver, which is a vocal tremor. That does make sense, but as a third option it could be from the Old English cwifer, which I couldn’t find a definition for, unfortunately.

Tony Jebson’s page on the Origins of Old English

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

July Goals

And now it’s July. How does this keep happening? Someone make it stop. But not this month. Next month, because that’s when my birthday is.

Time to check out my goals.

June Goals
1. Do my first color partition—when I highlight different parts of the MS in different colors to make sure everything works. I know I’ve posted about this at some point…
Yes, I did this, and I didn’t catch any glaring errors in terms of writing flow. That’s another draft down.

2. Do my second color partition—this one is checking for sensory cues to make sure descriptions are evocative. I’ve explained this one, too.
It went pretty smoothly. Of course now I’m wondering if I paid enough attention to it, because ninety nine percent of editing is thinking that it’s not good enough.

3. Update my etymology page. I can’t remember the last time I did it, which means it’s time to do it again.
Done, all the way up to the end of the -ment words. Now I can forget about it again for a few months.

June worked out pretty well. Writing-wise, anyway. The world at large seems to have turned into a cesspool of greed and corruption.

Anyway, goals!

July Goals
1. Do my word search. I always find I overuse certain words and phrases so now I have to get rid of some of them so it’s not totally ridiculous. You want to know how much I use the word “even”? Because it’s embarrassing.

2. Finish the short story I started. This one should be easy.

3. Get ready for my blogging break next month!!! I’ll have to get some extra posts ready.

Now I can’t stop thinking of infinite birthdays and infinite cake. So what are you doing this month?

Saturday, June 30, 2018


It’s nice when things line up like this, especially because my mom insists on always being right.
In reality it happened about an hour later, but that was still a pretty impressive counterpoint.