Tuesday, August 4, 2020

August Goals

Oh, wow. It’s August. Normally I’d be thrilled since it’s my birthday month, but… you know. 2020. I’m afraid if I get excited about anything my entire life will catch on fire.

Okay, goals.

July Goals
1. Finish first round of editing notes on WIP. I have over four hundred of them, mostly me telling myself to add more descriptions.
Hey, I did this, adding almost 10K more words because of it. There are still a few things that need work, but will hopefully be taken care of in other edits.

2. After finishing the above, complete the next round of structure edits on the WIP.
I didn’t complete it, but not for lack of trying. I spent the last two weeks working on it (trimming some words from the above edit) and there’s still a bit more to take care of. I’ve been doing way too much telling instead of showing in this WIP.

3. Look at the yearly goals I’m supposed to be working on that I’m sure I’ve made no progress on. Eep.
Taken care of. Now I can forget about these until the end of the year! XD

Actually not bad. As for August…

August Goals
1. Finish the edit from last month and really work on the whole telling instead of showing thing.

2. Get to the next editing pass where I work on descriptions in particular.

3. Birthday! Please don’t let that exclamation point cause the entire thing to be ruined.

This is what I want to do this month. What are you up to?

Saturday, August 1, 2020

Weather Or Not

I can’t remember the last time the weather report in the local news has been accurate.
Of course, it was sunny again by that afternoon.

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Language Of Confusion: This and That

How about a bunch of little words that we use all the time?

This comes from the Old English þis, which is just this where the th has its own letter. It’s thought to be from the North Sea Germanic pronoun tha-si-, which is a mix of the base word þa with an -s at the end. Once upon a time, this had tons of different forms, Masculine, Feminine, Neutral, and Plural, and of course in all the different tenses. I am just so glad we pared it down to one. How annoying would it be to have to conjugate twenty different forms for this???

That is from the Old English þaet, which is that much like we use it. It comes from the Proto Germanic that, from the Proto Indo European tod-, which is from the root word -to-. That also had masculine and feminine forms—the masculine form was actually se and the feminine seo, with an S! That with the th is actually the neutral form. And we should now all take a moment to thank Middle English for getting rid of gendered articles, because that is a stupid idea that makes things overcomplicated.

Next, we’re looking at the, which was þe in Old English. At least, that was one of its forms. In fact, þe was a later form, and earlier it was se—yes, the same se that came from. It’s from the Proto Indo European root so-, which you know is the origin of this and that. I guess that’s where all these words come from.

Now let’s look at some non-th words. At comes from the Old English aet, which is just at. It’s from the Proto Indo European ad-, to, near, or at, which is part of just so many words that start with a- or ad-. Anyway, that’s at. Fairly sensible origin, and almost completely unchanged in thousands of years. Impressive.

From comes from (ha!) the Old English fram, which is just from with a different vowel. It can be traced to the Proto Germanic fra, forward or away from (kind of contradictory there) and Proto Indo European pro-mo-… Seriously??? It’s actually from pro-, forward, and get this, frame is from the same place. Well, technically, frame is from the already mentioned Old English fram. As in, this is where the frame you use for pictures comes from. I am one hundred percent not making that up. The frame thing is something I’m going to have to get into another time because holy crap is that a journey.

Okay, let’s end with something more sensible. For comes from the Old English for, meaning… well, for. What were you expecting? It’s from the Proto Germanic fur and Proto Indo European per-, forward. Which is also where pro comes from.

Nothing much else to stay here. My mind is still reeling from the from/frame thing.

Tony Jebson’s page on the Origins of Old English

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

From The Spamfiles

I definitely enjoy digital spam more than real spam.

Well, then you’re barking up the wrong tree, because I have neither of those things.

…Ever feel violated by a spam? The emojis in particular feel like a slap to the face.

“Congratulations” is not something you would normally hear from an unsubscribe request. Also, I love how they say it’s been “granted”, then immediately switch to it being “in process” and I have to confirm.

Pintoso? Am I Pintoso? What even is Pintoso???

Of all the unfortunate names I have ever seen in my life, “DR DAVID KUM” has to be the worst. There are no more contenders. A winner has been declared.

Saturday, July 25, 2020


What even is my brain?
It’s embarrassing how far I got before noticing.

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Language of Confusion: Terms

Now, I already did terminate a while back, but I never looked at the other words it’s related to, so it’s time to do that. For a refresher: terminate showed up in the late fifteenth century. It’s from the classical Latin terminatus, terminating, and terminare, to terminate. That’s pretty much all that’s known about it.

Term itself showed up earlier, in the thirteenth century, from the Old French terme and classical Latin terminus, which means border. Whether it’s used for school or elected office, a term has a fixed ending—a border, if you will. Now, term is also used to mean a word/phrase usage. That actually started in the fourteenth century, and unsurprisingly it has a weird reason why. Okay, first of all, Medieval Latin used terminus as a translation for the Greek word horos, which was a word for boundary used in math and logic. Somehow that morphed “in terms of” into meaning “particular phraseology”. I guess a phrase is limited by its meaning? Also in that vein, the word terminal. It showed up in the mid fifteenth century, again just referring to the end of something. Then in 1888, it started to mean the end point of a railway line, which is why it’s still used in different methods of travel. Then 1954 gave us computer terminal. No real reason why, but maybe because it was a stopping point like a train terminal. But that’s just a guess on my part.

Exterminate… well, okay, it’s kind of a weird story, big shocker. It showed up in the mid sixteenth century along with extermination. Exterminator on the other hand showed up in the fifteenth century. Where it meant “an angel who expels people from a country”. Yeah. The job exterminator didn’t actually show up until 1848. In any case, all the words can be traced to the classical Latin exterminare, which means exterminate, but also to banish or expel—Late Latin was the one to make the word lean towards destroy. Exterminare is a mix of the prefix ex-, out of, and termine, boundary. To exterminate is to kick someone out of a boundary.

Determine showed up in the latefourteenth century as determinen, from the Old French determiner and classical Latin determinare, to determine or set limits to (determining something sets limits to it, I suppose). The de- means off, and the rest of course is limit/end/boundary. To determine is to boundary off something.

Finally, interminable. It showed up in the late fourteenth century from the Old French interminable and Late Latin interminabilis, endless. It’s a mix of the prefix in-, meaning not here, the suffix -able, and of course term. Interminable is literally not-boundary-able. And unlike most of these words, there are no weird transfers of meanings.


Tuesday, July 21, 2020

From The Spamfiles

Ah, it’s nice to have something to post that doesn’t matter at all, it’s just a laugh.

Well, maybe not all of them are a laugh. This one just creeps me out.

Okay, so much to unpack here. First, what is a pis and why would I bite it? Second, if it’s online, how are you going to rip my f’ing clothes off? Finally, and most distressingly, the emoticon boobies, pointing in different directions. I just… I need a drink.

I get that these spammers generally aren’t English speakers, but… come on. Reply. There’s an R in it. It shouldn’t be that hard.

See? This one doesn’t have any ridiculous misspellings. The idea of an “ATM Card Department” is kind of ridiculous, but at least they put some effort into it.

Is this from a kitty? Because I’d actually be interested in that.

When I get spam like this, that tells me I have to write somewhere to unsubscribe, I really have to wonder: is there someone somewhere who actually does it? Seriously, I want to sit on top of a mountain and contemplate the type of person who would write a physical letter to unsubscribe from an email list. Forget the sound of one hand clapping, THIS is the riddle to achieve another plane of mental awareness.