Tuesday, September 27, 2016

From The Spamfiles

More spam! Yay? Yay.

One of the bots following me on Twitter. Well, they’re not wrong. There are a lot of fraudulent accounts.

He’s a man of PEACE. He wants to SHARE this money with me.

Psychic Chris must have found me using his mind powers!

A flashlight that can penetrate concrete walls. It must have been invented by a supervillain because I can’t even imagine how that would work.

Always get your security system from someone who uses underscores instead of spaces. Spaces are the tools of liars.

I just love the…names? words? whatever in this one. Olwen Demetria! Edgard stay! Dufour bardette Rachel! Maybe saying them is what causes heart attacks. Or summons Cthulhu.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Language of Confusion: Directions

How about directions? I haven’t done that before, have I? [Checks etymology list] Nope!

North comes from the Old English norÞ and since that Þ is the th sound (why doesn’t it still have its own letter?!), that means the word is just north. Before that, it was the Proto Germanic nurtha, and it’s theorized that nurtha comes from the Proto Indo European ner-, which means left. Because which way is north when you’re looking at the sun rise?

South has a very similar story, coming from the Old English suð (south, of course). For those who don’t know, that ð is another letter for the th sound (used to have two; now we have zero -_-), but Þ sounds more like the th in the (try not to be too confused by that sentence) and ð is more like the th in math. Anyway, suð comes from the Proto Germanic sunthaz, which is thought to mean “sun side”—and that ­sun is where sun comes from. No explanation as to why south is the sunny side, though. Maybe it has to do with the angle of the sun at certain times of year or something.

East comes from the Old English east which means…east. I guess there hasn’t been many changes in recent years. It comes from the Proto Germanic aust-, which literally meant “towards the sunrise”, and is from the Proto Indo European aus-, to shine. Which the sun does do when it comes up in the morning. While you’re trying to sleep. Weirdly enough, aus- is related to ausus-, dawn, which gave us the classical Latin word auster, which means a southern wind. Seriously. What the hell.

Much like North and South are similar, so are East and West. West comes from the Old English west which means (brace yourself!) west. And before that, it was the Proto Germanic west-. So there’s even less change in this one. Even the Proto Indo European word it comes from isn’t that different: wes-, which in turn comes from a phrase wes-poro-, which means evening. In other words, when the sun sets.

Tony Jebson’s page on the Origins of Old English

Tuesday, September 20, 2016


The other day, I was sad to discover that I can’t find one of my old stories. Remember how last week one of my goals was to look through old projects? This was the one I was intending to revise this month.

But it’s gone. I don’t know when this happened. I absolutely backup all the stories that I intend to keep, but somehow this one got left out, although I don’t know when. Possibly when the AC adapter on my last computer crapped out—which, if true, means it still exists on a computer I can no longer turn on. Or it could have happened even earlier than that, when aforementioned computer needed to be reset and I lost a bunch of files (although I can swear I’ve seen it since then).

It all really sucks because I liked it a lot. I wrote it during NaNoWriMo back in…2010? I think that’s it. I’m pretty sure it was the one I wrote right after I started this blog. It reached the 50K mark to win, but most of that was filler that I ended up cutting, so I think the final word count was around 35K. I never really knew what to do with it, but I figured I could take a look at it. Inspiration could strike and I could expand it into a proper novel.

Except, you know, it’s gone. So many parts of it are still clear in my head, so I could completely reboot it, but it won’t be what it was. Not that that’s necessarily a bad thing, since I’m a more experienced writer now. But even so, it wouldn’t be the same.

Anyway, I’m bummed about that. Have you ever lost any of your stories? Or anything else important? What did you do about it?

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Like A Snow Globe

A few weeks ago, my vacuum broke. The hose literally unraveled, like a slinky or something. It made cleaning up all the cat hair…difficult.

Cat hair, especially for long haired cats, is very fine and light. It’s really tough to clean up without a vacuum. Really tough.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Language of Confusion: -Scend

Sometimes I wonder if I’m going to run out of words to etymologize. I guess it depends on how long this blog lasts. But if I do run out of words, then yeah, I’m going to have to end it.

Anyway! Here’s words that end in -scend!

Hey! That rhymed!

Ascend first showed up in the late fourteenth century, which was after ascension but three centuries before ascent. It comes from the classical Latin ascendere, to climb up, a mix of the prefix ad-, to, and scandere, which also means climb. Isn’t it funny how scandere looks like scan with -dere stuck at the end? Ha ha, that’s because that’s where scan comes from. Apparently the reason we have scan is because Late Latin started using scandere as a poetic term—when it showed up in English, it originally meant “to mark off verse in metric feet”. And somehow from there we got scan in the visual sense.

Don’t ask me, I have no idea. Just except it.

Descend follows a similar pattern: both it and descent showed up in the fourteenth century, and descension showed up later, in this case the early fifteenth century (not that descension is a word anymore!). Descend came to us via the Old French descender and classical Latin descendere, which is just descend or down. The de- gives us the down part and the scendere is climb, like with ascend. So descend: climb down. Yay! One makes sense!

Then of course there’s condescend, which is just descend with another prefix. It showed up in the mid fourteenth century from the Old French condescendere, which actually meant agree or yield. Before that it was the Late Latin condescendere, to let yourself down. (Really?) The com- prefix means together here, and combined with descendere it means climb down together…I can’t tell if it makes sense or if my brain is hemorrhaging.

Finally, there’s transcend, which showed up in the mid fourteenth century from the Old French transcendre, surpass. It comes from the classical Latin transcendere, which means things like transcend or exceed. Trans- means beyond, and with scandere as climb, it’s climb beyond. Well, it makes way more sense than condescend.


Tuesday, September 13, 2016

The Blogiversary

As of this Thursday, I’ve been doing this blog for six years. It’s weird because it really doesn’t feel that long. Two or three years, tops. But time seems to be going by a lot faster these days, so maybe that’s the reason why.

When I look back on my first posts, I totally cringe. I had no idea what I was doing, I swear! Back then, I posted every day, usually about whatever was on my mind at that particular time. Which means a lot of in depth posts on the minutia of writing and other really stupid things. No etymology! No stick figures! Just blathering. Lots and lots of blathering.

If I could go back in time…well, I’d totally warn myself about the total sh!tstorm the world was going to turn into in 2016. But if I could go back in time an only warn myself about blogging related stuff, I’d tell myself “Seriously, maybe don’t write down every thought that’s in your head. You know what people like? Cat pictures. Also stick figure comics for some reason.” Hindsight, amiright? I suppose the blog wouldn’t be what it was if it hadn’t gone through that awkward growth, but man. Embarrassing.

Six years. If this blog were a kid, it would be in school by now. It would also be that weird kid that no one can figure out what the hell they’re talking about. And the name! I’m going to be honest: I went with Still Writing… because I am really, really bad with names. It was literally all I could come up with after several hours of mulling it over. Now I’m kind of stuck with it. Why do names have to be so hard???

So I guess that’s all for this year’s reflections. I think I’ll take my own advice and shut up and leave you with a cat picture.

Yes, her mouth is open in that pic. She’s so classy.