There are a ton of words that end in -cense or -cence. Like, this is definitely a two-parter. And we’re not even getting into words like luminescence or iridescence since those are related to essence and a whole other post on their own.
License is kind of funny. It showed up in the early fifteenth century as a verb that meant to grant authorization to do something. No big surprises there. But it comes from a noun that’s spelled licence, with two C’s (which, frankly, just accentuates how stupid and redundant C is). Apparently there were tons of spellings for the word in Middle English, including lisence, lissens, and licance, which exemplifies why we had to start formalizing spellings. Anyway, licence is spelled that way because it comes from the Old Frenchlicence, liberty, freedom, or permission, which in turn comes from the classical Latinlicentia, which means the same thing, in other words, a license. The verb form of it, licere (to allow) can be traced back to the Proto Indo Europeanleik-, to offer or bargain. Which…makes sense, I guess.
Innocence showed up in the mid fourteenth century meaning specifically the “freedom from guilt or moral wrong”. It comes from the Old French inocence, innocence, and classical Latin innocentia/innocens, which are just innocence and innocent. When you break up the word and look at its roots, it gets seven better. The in- means not in this case, while the centia/cens part of the word comes from nocere, hurt. That fits since innocence is non-harming, right? Well, nocere comes from the Proto Indo European nek-, which means…death. It’s where necro- comes from!
Incense first showed up in the late thirteenth century meaning something that gave off a sweet scent when burned. It comes from the Old French encens, from the Late Latinincensum, that which is burnt. That in turn is from the classical Latin incendere, to burn, which might sound an awful lot like incendiary to you. And it should, since that word is from the same place. This time the prefix in- means in while the rest is from candere, shine, glow, or be on fire. And of course that’s where candle comes from. It can also be traced all the way back to the Proto Indo European kand-, glow or shoot out light. So light = fire = stuff burning.
TL;DR: None of these words are related. Like, at all.
Various random jokes. The most popular recurring characters
are the bear Ernesto and his friend Kevin the bird, as well as Trash Bird, who
is just Trash Bird. Look, it’s really hard to explain and totally ridiculous.
Just check it out.
Apparently the creator just wanted to use the longest name
she could find. In any case, she’s hilarious. Her creature “selfie bee” is a
kind of author avatar that reflects her often ridiculous reactions (like
promising not to buy more books and then leaving the bookstore later wearing a
sash that says “Mayor of Failuretown”). Also, for Harry Potter fans, she does
tons of spoofs of the series, especially of Dumbledore being just the worst
person to be in charge of children.
Things that happen to Adam totally overdramatized,
flamboyant, and hilarious. I think my favorite is the one where the cat is
asleep all day, until three a.m. when he’s going totally crazy. It’s very
Another comic where the typical things that happen to the
creator are exaggerated to hilarious levels. I think that might be my favorite
type of comic. The best ones to check out is the comics she drew while staying
up for thirty two hours in order to fix her sleep schedule. It’s basically a
decent into madness.
Anyway, that’s what I read all day. I like comics. What
Organ…it can be something you play, or a part of your body that keeps you alive. Why is that?
Organ is actually a fusion—seriously. The Old Englishorgane and Old Frenchorgenecame together to form a stronger, more powerful word than either could be separately. Both words had the same meaning, a musical instrument, and both come from the classical Latinorganum, instrument. Latin stole it from Greek, where it’s organon, which means instrument in a very general sense, not just musical. And back then it could be a tool or a body organ, which means that over the years it changed from having several definitions to only meaning musical instruments and then went back to having several definitions, including one very specific musical instrument. I think it’s funny that organon comes from the Proto Indo Europeanwerg-ano-, which comes from werg-, to work, because that makes way more sense as an origin for these words.
And it’s not the only word originally music related. Take organic. It showed up in the early sixteenth century meaning serving as a musical instrument, coming from the classical Latin organicus and Greek organikos, and while bothmean organic, both also originally had to do with instruments, not what we think of organic as. In fact, it wasn’t until the late eighteenth century that it applied to living beings (although they used “organical” for that before, and tell me that word isn’t funny).
Finally today we’re looking at organize. It showed up in the early fifteenth century meaning construct or establish, which makes it weirder that organized originally specifically meant “furnished with organs”. It came from the Middle Frenchorganizer and Medieval Latinorganizare, which in turn is from our old friend organum. Okay, I can almost get how it went from construct to put into order, but I have no idea how we’re supposed to get from instrument to construct/establish. Makes. No. Sense.
A couple of years ago, I talked about how there was a blood drive where they gave away Girl Scout cookies to anyone who donated. Obviously I was all over that. And they do it every year, so of course I’ve been there each time. But there was a slight problem this time.