Saturday, March 31, 2012

Top Ten Reasons Why…

…People Have Got to Stop Bitching About Newspaper Comics.

10. Just because you think a comic is “sick sick sick” (actual quote from a letter to the editor), doesn’t mean it is. It means youdon’t like it.

9. We all know that the only way to get in the funny pages is to have gotten in there fifty years ago. It’s not going to change.

8. There’s this thing called “the internet” that has more comics than you could read in your lifetime. And most are free. Why don’t you go support one of those struggling cartoonists instead of someone with a fifty year contract in place?

7. Even with the hundreds of comics out there, there is not one single assortment of them that will satisfy more than one person.

6. You’re not going to enjoy something now like you did when you were five. It’s not that the quality has declined. It’s always been like that. But you still have that memory of laughing at Garfield or Popeye or whatever so you insist that it must have gotten worse. You couldn’t have changed or something.

5. Maybe it’s only the newspaper I read, but the comics very rarely change. Unless they’re doing an announced test run of a strip, it’s going to be there for a while. More than half have been there since I can remember, so over twenty years and only six, maybe eight have been dropped, and at least three of those were from the strips ending. So complain all you want. They aren’t going to listen.

4. If you read the Comics Curmudgeon regularly, you’ll start to see sinister undertones in everything, not just the comics you despise. So maybe it’s not the funnies that’s the problem. Hint.

3. You can just not read them. Is it really that hard? I ignore plenty of comics that bore me. You know what I do instead? Complain about them on my blog Read something else.

2. They’re freaking comics. Get over it.

1. Seriously. One more word and I’m coming after you.

Post inspired by recent letters to the editor. Because if I read another one whining about how every newfangled comic is pure evil and OMG they’re letting children read this filth? my scream will shatter the planet. Seriously, comics need to go up there with politics and religion as topics people can never discuss in a civil manner.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Secret Origins: J

Yay! I love letter origins! And of course, I want to know the truth about J, the letter that starts my own name. So let’s look at the alphabet gifand…

Hm. That’s it? It came from I/iota? Well, yes. Back in the days when Latin wasn’t a dead language and Jupiter was Iuppiter, it didn’t exist.

J first started as nothing more than an I with an extra-long hook on the bottom. Medieval Writing has a great page on the formation of J in Gothic writing. It started as a way to distinguish the double I’s in words. Then the Dutch started using J as a long I sound. This is the reason that many languages have J as a soft sound. In Spanish it’s “huh” as in Julio or Jueves. Or you can think of the “yuh” sound, like in fjord, a word of Norwegian extract.

It was the Italian writer Gian Giorgio Trissino who first used the letter with the “juh” sound way back in 1524. As to why he needed another letter when G was there, I have no idea, but it caught on, although the Romance languages are the only one who really keep it that way.

TL;DR: Started as an I clone, turned into a soft G clone. At least in English.

Sources’s Hot Word page on J
Medieval Writing’s page on J

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

From the Spamfiles

Spam is a constant in internet life. You can’t even tweet certain words without getting messaged with a million shady links. Although in my opinion, the stuff in my email spam folder is much more hilarious, as you can see from the following list of actual things spammers have tried.

Warning: sarcasm rises to dangerous levels towards the end.

“Your account has been suspended.”
This one can come from anywhere. Banks (including ones I don’t have an account in), Facebook, PayPal (nope, no account there either), you name it. The links always seem legit, but they only go to dummy sites that probably download viruses onto your computer if you even look at them.

“you aren’t going to beleive this but Im stuck in Spain and i need 1500 euros and i hate to ask but could you send it to me?”
Supposedly from a fellow writer who I knew, from her blog posts, wasn’t in Europe. The entire feeling of the letter was that it was written by someone who didn’t know English very well. Come on. If you’re going to try to con me, at least put some effort into it.

“OMG great Facebook post.”
A, I don’t have a Facebook page (although I’ve also gotten this for supposed tweets). B, it’s always from “” While I do know people from Australia via the internet, somehow I doubt everyone in the country has an email at the same domain.

“I would like you to become my guardian and have access to all my millions. All I ask…”
Wow. A deposed princess who is in danger of being killed by her greedy uncle. Can you say “cliché”? That story wouldn’t fly for an agent and it’s not going to fly for me.

“You have won the British Lotery!”
I get this one a lot. And yes, I meant to spell lottery that way because that’s usually how I get it. And to think, I didn’t even know I was entered! And all I have to do is send you money for taxes? That makes perfect sense!

“Dear most trusted friend…”
Someone calls me friend just has to be trustworthy. You don’t throw that word around. Sigh…come on spammers. Give my intelligence some credit. Oh well. I suppose it’s good that they’re easy to spot.

Do you have any funny spam stories to share? Or do you not find them as ridiculously hilarious as I do?

Saturday, March 24, 2012


K S Colliergave me the Sunshine award.

Isn’t that nice of her? : ) Thanks so much for thinking of me. When given this award, one is supposed to respond in the following way:
    Thank the person who gave you the award and link back to them.
    Write a post about it.
    Answer the questions below.
    Pass it on to 10 bloggers who you think really deserve it and let them know.

As for the questions…
Favorite color: I don’t have a particular favorite, but I prefer dark shades of pretty much anything.

Favorite animal: Cats!

Favorite number: 4. Although 2 is pretty awesome, being an even prime number. And if we get into imaginary numbers…

Favorite non-alcoholic drink: Iced Tea.

Facebook or Twitter: Twitter!

My passion: Writing, obviously. But also anything else that has to do with words and letters, like reading and etymology.

Getting or giving presents: They both drive me crazy. I have trouble picking out gifts for people and can’t stand it when I can’t pick out something for myself. Yes, I'm difficult : P

Favorite pattern: Nothing in particular.

Favorite day of the week: None in particular.

Favorite flower: Again, none in particular, although I would say I prefer planted flowers to cut ones.

The ten people I’ll pass on this award to:

I don't know for sure if any of you like awards, but I thought I'd give it to you anyway just to make sure you know how awesome you are. Enjoy!