Thursday, September 21, 2017

Language of Confusion: More Tops

And now more words for top, this time focusing on peaks.

Peak didn’t specifically mean the top of a mountain until the seventeenth century, although it actually a century earlier meaning a pointed top. When it showed up then it was a variant of pike, a long pointy stick, which in turn is from pick, which somehow leads us back to pike again. They’re all related is what I’m getting at. Peak has no further origins, but pick and pike have further histories that I’m sure I’ll get to someday. I know this is a bit of a cop out but oh well :P.

Maybe this one won’t trail off to nowhere. Apex first showed up in the seventeenth century from the classical Latin apex, which means point. Or, you know, apex. It’s thought to be related to the verb apere, to fasten or fix, from the Proto Indo European word ap-, to take or reach. The reason that an apex is the tip of something is because in Latin it was also a word for “the small rod at the top of the flamen’s cap”. It was…fastened onto the tip.

Acme showed up in the mid sixteenth century from the Greek akme, which of course means acme. It can be traced all the way back to the Proto Indo European ak-ma-, where the prefix ak- means be sharp or rise out. No great mysteries here! But it is a fun word to say.

Summit is the earliest of these wrods, having showed up in the fifteenth century. It comes from the Middle French somete and Old French somete. Which, yeah, just means summit, but it’s actually the diminutive of som/sum, the top of a hill. Before that, it was the classical Latin summum, summit, from summus, high, which is related to super, on or over, and yes that’s where super comes from. It’s actually from the Proto Indo European root *uper, which means over, which gave us words like hyper and over, as well as super, summit, and even sum. Man, I should do a post on all the uper words.

Whew. That was quite a wild ride, wasn’t it?


Tuesday, September 19, 2017

From The Spamfiles

It’s been a while. I think. Maybe. Anyway, here it is again!

If Veronica could send email, this is exactly what she would send. Only more desperate.

"We here by today receive this payment". So close to sounding like a real person! Seriously, the first AI to pass the Turing test is going to be a spambot. Just you watch.

There was a period where I was getting at least one of these a day, all with the same message, all with different email addresses. I’m really kind of confused as to what they’re trying to do here. Also, we all know who the real evil bitch is, and it’s the person who ends “You know what” with an exclamation point instead of a question mark.

Ignoring the fact that it says “responde” and the two differing prices…who the hell spends more than eight hundred dollars on a lamp?!?!

How about he take responsibility for his own happiness and not expect a woman to do it for him, hmmm?

Also, I’ve gotten like five spams in the past month all from someone named Melissa. Or Mellissa. Why is every spammer named Melissa all of a sudden?

Saturday, September 16, 2017

I Think She Does It On Purpose

This is a lot of what my birthday is like.

Seriously. Just let me pick out my own clothes.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Language of Confusion: Tops

And now words for things that are above.

The earliest top was probably the noun version, meaning the highest point of something. It started as the Old English top, which means, well, top. And it comes from the Proto Germanic tuppaz, but before that it’s a big old question mark. All the other tops come from it, like the spinning kind of top, to top something off (which showed up at some point between the mid fifteenth and sixteenth centuries), and the adjective (end of the sixteenth century). How disappointingly boring.

The earliest known tip showed up in the thirteenth century and meant to strike or occur suddenly—it might be related to tap), and it’s where we get things like tipping point or tip one’s hand. It’s thought to be related to the Middle Low German tip, which is significant because that’s where the tip that we all know as meaning the end of something. That tip didn’t show up until the fifteenth century and in addition to being Middle Low German is probably Scandinavian in some way. I have to admit, I had no idea that the first tip had that definition. I always wondered why a tip-off was called that.

Above comes from the Middle English above/aboven, which was also pronounced aboun or abow. In any case, the word comes from the Old English abufan, above [], which was originally onbufan. See, that bufan means above or over, and the on unsurprisingly means on (it turns out that there are a lot of words where the on- turned into a-, like asleep and alive). Bufan is actually a mix of be, which means by and ufan, which once again just means above and is from the Proto Germanic ufan- and Proto Indo European upo, under. More on that in a second, but basically above is a nesting doll of words meaning above.

Up comes from the Old English up or uppe, which we all know just means up. It comes from the Proto Germanic upp-, and that’s from upo, too. Since upo could also mean “up from under”, it morphed into over in places and now we have up. And above, apparently.

High comes from the Old English heh or heah, both meaning high but with what I have to call way more sensible spellings. Heh and heah come from the Proto Germanic haukhaz, which is “uncertain in origin” (i.e. they don’t know where it came from). The reason it has the g in there is because it was supposed to have a guttural sound in it, but apparently people stopped saying it that way and never bothered to update the spelling. Fun fact, there used to be another high that meant thought or understanding, but it hasn’t been used since the thirteenth century.

Tony Jebson’s page on the Origins of Old English

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Writing Update

Since this blog was supposedly started to talk about writing, maybe I should talk about it a little?

My writing pace has slowed way down (obvs), because unfortunately I’ve been so tired at the end of the day, mostly mentally, and just want to have some fun and relax. Also I really need to have a show on in the background while I write and my streaming has been terribly choppy lately. I know that’s a stupid thing to complain about as a deterrent for writing but IT’S TRUE.

I like the book I’m writing. It’s getting near the end now. I want to set up for the final confrontation although I haven’t quite figured out how that’s going to happen. I mean, I know what will happen when it does, I’m just not sure how to get to that point. I’ve been really pantsing this one. I’ve already made a bunch of notes of things I need to add in editing. Editing! Oh man, I hate to think what that will be like. This first draft is a steaming hot mess. At the rate I’m going, I’ll be editing for the rest of my life.

I also have ideas about what I might want to write next. Several well-formed ideas that I’m not sure if I want to write, one interesting but barely there idea that will likely never get written, and one, the most likely next candidate, that could be good if I can get it past the idea stage. We’ll see.

So that’s the situation here. What’s your writing like? Any good ideas brewing?

Saturday, September 9, 2017

While I Was Away

Sometimes you just wish you could stay away.

I call those times “2017”.
Haven’t done one of these jokes in a while. Kind of a different reason than usual, too.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Language of Confusion: Merge

Kind of a short one this week. My mind’s not fully back from vacation yet.

Merge showed up in the mid seventeenth century, so not all that long ago in etymology terms. It comes from the classical Latin mergere, which actually means things like immerse, dip in, plunge, or…drown. This is turning out to be my kind of word! It’s thought to come from the Proto Indo European mezg-, which means dip or plunge, where it was rhotacized, which basically means that they shoved an R in there for no particular reason. As to why it means combine these days, it probably is because in the eighteenth century it became a legal term for “absorb an estate, contract, etc. into another”. I guess that’s plunging in?

Emerge showed up in the mid sixteenth century, making it older than merge up there. It comes from the Middle French émerger and classical Latin emergere, rise or bring forth. See, the e comes from ex-, which means out here, while the merge is dip in. So instead of dip in, it’s dip out. Or dip in out? And there’s also emergency, which also comes from emergere. Just with a -ency after it. I guess an emergency is something that rises up suddenly.

Finally, submerge showed up in the seventeenth century from the French submerger and classical Latin submergere, sink. Pretty straight forward here. The sub- means under, so with merge it’s to dip or plunge under. I think this one made more sense than the other two.


Tuesday, September 5, 2017

September Goals

Well, I’m back. Back doing stuff. Writing. Editing. Working. And it sucks.

So goals or whatever.

August Goals
1. Finish the book! I don’t know how many more words it’s going to be, but I think I’m getting close to the end. The final confrontation is close…
I didn’t finish it, because of course not, but I did get quite a bit done. I’m almost there!

2. Again, start outlining it. There’s a bunch of stuff I need to figure out.
Hey, I actually did this! It’s a miracle! Plus I figured stuff out! WOO!

3. BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Not enough cake.

And now, for this month.

September Goals
1. Again, finish the book. It could actually happen this time!

2. Update the etymology page again. I always forget this and then I have a million words to do and it’s a pain.

3. Make some new cross stitch patterns. Shut up! I like it! Don’t you judge me!

So that’s what I have planned. What are you up to this month?

Saturday, September 2, 2017


Back on Tuesday! Technically Monday since I’ll be visiting others but the blog’s not updating until Tuesday!

Saturday, August 26, 2017


Eating cake for birthday.

Eating all cake in world.

Many single panel comics to follow.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Language of Confusion: Meanness

Mean has…wow, a lot of really different definitions. Like it can mean average, or intention, or someone who’s acting like a jerk. Which one should we look at first?

The one that means intention doesn’t have a real show up date, so it might be the oldest or it might not be. It comes from the Old English maenan, which could mean say or relate (makes sense!) or mourn or lament (this one, not so much). Before that it was the West Germanic mainijan and the Proto Indo European meino-, intent. And it’s not related to the other means at all because why would it. That would make sense.

The mean with the earliest known date showed up in the thirteenth century and actually meant low quality, although before that it meant shared by all. I guess something shared by all is low quality? Originally it was imene, coming from the Old English gemaene, in common or united. It’s from the Proto Germanic ga-mainiz, possessed jointly. And if you thought it was weird that there was a g at the beginning, well in Proto Indo European it was ko-moin-i-, held in common, a word related to the word mei-, change or move. Anyway, that whole low quality thing gave us a mean that meant inferior or second rate, which changed to mediocre, then inferior, then nasty, then “disobliging or pettily offensive”. And that’s why we have mean.

The average mean first showed up as a noun in the early fourteenth century, and then as an adjective in the mid fourteenth century, and as a math term in the late fourteenth century. These words are French in origin, coming from the Anglo French meines and Old French meien. That in turn comes from the Late Latin medianus and classical Latin medius, center. And yeah, that’s the origin of medium. It also comes from the Proto Indo European medhyo-, middle, the origin of a ton of words, including middle. Unsurprisingly.

TL;DR: Three means, three totally separate origins.

Tony Jebson’s page on the Origins of Old English

Tuesday, August 22, 2017


Well, yesterday was the big eclipse. It was way lamer than they said it would be.

That was the sun during the nearest to totality we got around here. No, I’m not actually looking at the sun. I’m not an idiot. I just kind of aimed my phone up and took pictures, then found one that actually looked like something. I had a colander that was pretty good at showing the eclipse from the sun pouring through the holes, but I could never get a good picture of it. Here’s my play by play of the day:

2:00 EDT: Nothing yet.

2:15 EDT: Still no visible change from the colander, although the ambient light was dimmer.

2:36 EDT: Sun is looking a little lopsided there.

2:47 EDT: The half-sun shadow I see is supposed to be the most eclipsed it’s going to be around here. But if anything, it’s brighter outside because the clouds cleared a bit.

2:55 EDT: Still kind of dim, but there’s nothing eclipse-y going on here.

3:15 EDT: Sun back to normal. I’m not sure anything even happened. I’m beginning to think this whole eclipse thing was a scam.

What a total waste. I mean, it was better than working, but not by enough. Did you see anything cool yesterday? Do you know when the next eclipse where you live is?

Saturday, August 19, 2017


I had such high hopes.

Okay, hopes.
Then it’s not the modem causing the ridiculous load times and stuttering. Maybe it’s the wi-fi router. Or my computer. Or a million other damn things.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Lost In Translation: August

It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these. And hey, it’s in the right month for it!

August showed up in the late eleventh century from the classical Latin Augustus mensis, month of August. Like most of the months, August used to have another name. While the Romans once called it Sextilis (because back then it was the sixth month of the year), in Old English it used to be weodmonað, which translates to weed month. I cannot begin to describe how amusing I find that. We may finally have something that beats Threemilk.

Of course we all know that the Romans named the month after Augustus Caesar. That pretty much falls under the realm of common knowledge. It happened during 8 BCE, and was changed because apparently a lot of good things happened to him this month. But August wasn’t his real name. He changed it to that because he literally wanted to call himself venerable. Not really a surprise that a Caesar would want to call himself that. And it is where we get the word august, though we don’t really use it that much anymore. But it’s related to augment and that’s still popular.

I wonder how famous you have to be to get a month named after you…

Tony Jebson’s page on the Origins of Old English

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Did You Even Read The Post?

Got another crazy spam I couldn’t resist sharing.
December two thousand frigging ten, in other words the year I started this blog. Said post, as was typical of my early rambley posts, prattled on about books and forgetting the key to my mom’s house and having to creatively think of a way in. I sure as hell didn’t share any fitness resources. Apparently they don’t think people will check. Which…yeah, spam all over.

Things I can’t help but notice:

“Data-backed study” as opposed to all those studies without any data.

What usage of fitness and food related posts? How are they being used? You might as well say it’s a study of water posts on Facebook.

Fitness and Food are capitalized. Instagram is not. I find this curious.

Also, looking up the website Morgan Reiner is emailing me from indicates that it’s no longer in use. is still a site, but it’s “About Us” section reveals very little about who’s actually running it. Overall, shady as hell.

What do you think, audience? Do you find it valuable? What do you think this Morgan Reiner is after?

Saturday, August 12, 2017


The cable company gave me a free upgrade to my phone system. Of course they weren’t going to let that go.
She did seem regretful about the whole thing. Stupid corporate overlords.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Language of Confusion: Feeling Fruity, Part IV

And I think it’s the last part? For now? Maybe? Unless I think up some more fruit to etymologize and do a surprise sequel down the road.

Melon showed up in the late fourteenth century from the Old French melon, so no big changes there. Before there it was the Medieval Latin melonem, and classical Latin melopeponem, which is…a kind of pumpkin. Wait, there are kinds of pumpkins? Well, Latin stole it from the Greek melopepon, gourd melon. Oh, and the melon is from the pepon part of the word. Melon was actually a word for apple, when it wasn’t being used as a generic word for fruit. Just like apple!

Just water + melon, named in the early seventeenth century. Because it’s full of watery juice. In French, it’s melon d’eau. Water melon. No one’s even trying to be original.

Honeydew showed up in the late sixteenth century. But not as a melon. That wasn’t until 1916, for some reason. Before that it was just something sticky and sweet on plants. Weird that they named the melon after it, though. I never thought of honeydews as particularly sweet or sticky.

Cantaloupe showed up in 1739 from French, which took it from the Italian cantalupo, named for the place where the melons were first grown in Europe. Damn, melons have boring name origins.

Pumpkin showed up in the mid seventeenth century as an alternation from pompone/pumpion. It comes from the Middle French pompon and classical Latin peponem, which…looks awfully familiar. Yes, it’s from pepon, too. Sooooo pumpkin means melon. Where the hell did the K come from?


Tuesday, August 8, 2017

More Weird Searches

Why do I do this? Is a good question that never comes up in my weird searches, although you’d think it would.

What is a fidget spinner. I think my mom must have written this one.

Three of these I ask myself every day. I’ve never heard of “how can anyone tell you”. I guess it’s a song?

Honestly, if it wasn’t for autocorrect I would never be able to spell any of these. Except actually. I got that one down. I’m pretty good with congratulations, but every now and then my fingers hit d instead of t. It just sounds like a d, you know?

Now I’m wondering why the hell somebody’s poop is green. Maybe it’s from the snakes that make your right ear ring.

And now we clearly just have people who don’t understand the way the internet has changed businesses. As well as people who didn’t have to sit through School House Rock when they were kids. It wouldn’t surprise me if there was a lot of overlap between those groups.

Saturday, August 5, 2017


That was a scary couple of minutes.
Did you know that Paint is 32? That makes it older than me!

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Language of Confusion: Feeling Fruity, Part III

Still more fruits! There are a lot of them. Most of this week is stuff that is berries or just ends in berries. Because somehow there’s a distinction.

Strawberry comes from the Old English streawberige, which obviously means strawberry (although it was once called eorÞberige, earth berry). And it’s just a combination of the words straw and berry, despite being neither of those things. Seriously, it’s not a berry. It is however a member of the rose family.

Raspberry showed up in the early-mid seventeenth century, although earlier it was raspis berry. That’s thought to be from raspise, a rose-colored wine, which is from the Anglo Latin vinum raspeys. A lot about the word is just guessing, though. Some think it might be related to rasp, or the Old French raspe and Medieval Latin raspecia. It certainly seems to make sense, but as we all know that doesn’t mean it’s so. Also they’re not berries either.

Cranberry showed up in the mid seventeenth century when American English adapted the Low German word kraanbere, the kraan being related to crane, of course. As to why they named it after a crane, maybe because the plants’ stamens looks like the beaks of cranes? At least these ones are actually berries. I think. I haven’t found a source that confirms they’re not, anyway.

Yes, banana. They’re berries. And that’s probably the least weird fact I’ve learned today. It showed up in the late sixteenth century, actually coming to English from a West African origin (probably from a language called Wolof which calls banana banaana) by way of either Portuguese or Spanish.

Avocado, yet another somehow berry, showed up in 1763—quite a specific year! It comes from the Spanish avocado, a version of aguacate, their word for avocado. That word is actually Aztec, from the word ahuakatl. That’s definitely the first time that language has showed up in one of my posts.

Seriously, berries. What the hell.

Tony Jebson’s page on the Origins of Old English

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

August Goals

It’s August! You know what that means!

It’s my birthday month. You better all have known that. Anyway, goals or whatever.

July Goals
1. 10K more on my WIP. Go big or go home.
Did not get all of it, but I got over 5K which isn’t horrible.

2. Update my etymology page before it gets ridiculous again.
I did, and now it’s already getting ridiculous again.

3. Maybe actually do the outline. If free time starts falling from the sky.
Unfortunately, free time did not start falling from the sky. Maybe it grows from the ground?

Pretty good. A solid 60%. Which is good enough for me because I’m not in school anymore.

August Goals
1. Finish the book! I don’t know how many more words it’s going to be, but I think I’m getting close to the end. The final confrontation is close…

2. Again, start outlining it. There’s a bunch of stuff I need to figure out.

3. BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I can’t wait until my birthday. There’s going to be so much cake!

Anyway, what are you up to this month? Anything cool?

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Language of Confusion: Feeling Fruity, Part II

Now for citrus fruit. Except orange. Because it’s the color. Or really, the color is because of the fruit. Go look it up.

Lemon showed up in the fifteenth century as…lymon. Wait, isn’t that the flavor of Sprite? No, wait. That’s limon. Which is the Old French word where lymon comes from. It came to us from the Arabic laimun and Persian limun via either Provençal (a Southern French language) or Italian. And before that, it might even be Malaysian! What a long way for a word to go!

Lime showed up in the seventeenth century, but that’s where things get murky. The Spanish lima or Portuguese limão probably gave us the word, and they probably got it from the Arabic lima, which meant citrus fruit and is from the Persian word limun, which I’m sure you find familiar. But it’s another one of those that we can’t be sure of. It’s obviously related in some way, but we can’t pin down the evolution of it.

Grapefruit always bugged me, because come on. It has nothing to do with grapes. It showed up as a word in 1814, just over two hundred years ago. The fruit was known before that, but apparently it wasn’t eaten much until the nineteenth century, and I guess that’s why people didn’t give it a name before then. Although why grape and fruit I have no idea. It’s thought to have been called that either because of the taste or because it grows in bunches. It obviously doesn’t grow in clumps as numerous as grapes, but taste? In what world do grapes and grapefruit taste alike?

Tangerine showed up pretty recently, in 1842. It was originally tangerine orange, an orange from Tangier in Morocco. No big reveal here! It’s just named after a place that shipped it out.

Clementine is the most recent of them all, having shown up in 1926, from the French clementine, which showed up in 1902. The reason it’s a clementine? It was named after a guy named Clement, who discovered it in his garden. He was actually a priest who ran an orphanage in Algeria and the fruit apparently appeared accidentally, so I guess he just happened to run across it.

That’s it for the citrus fruits. I mean, there’s a lot more in existence, but I’m not going into all of them. Maybe when I get really hard up for material.


Tuesday, July 25, 2017

From The Spamfiles

Time for an easy post so I don’t have to do any actual work!

Well, the emojis are cute. Also I love how the sender is apparently named “congrat”. I am now signing every email I send with congrat. No one will know what I mean ever again. I will bask in their confusion.

Get your pills from Violent Cough! Sounds trustworthy.

I have to admit, confirming your email to unsubscribe is a new one. It probably automatically downloads every piece of malware ever to your computer. Also I think leaving the s off of congratulations is going on the Spam Bingo list because I get it all the time.

April 5. 2013. A bit late, aren’t we?

I googled this woman and she does exist and is the commander of all that. You’d think she’d have a better email address than “Japanjbkoy555” though.

I’m sure I will, but it won’t be about this.

Anyway, now I’m off to perform with my band Violent Cough. See you around!


Saturday, July 22, 2017


A lot of times these days, I’ve noticed that when you get a reminder for an appointment or something you get a robo-call. Some people don’t like it. But I really don’t mind.

It only took thirty years for something to finally know how to pronounce my name.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Language of Confusion: Feeling Fruity, Part I

I can’t believe I haven’t looked at the origins of the names of fruits before! Well, except for orange, which got covered with colors. There’s plenty more citrus to look at, though. But not this week. Next week. Probably.

Apple comes from the Old English aeppel, which could refer to apples, but also just mean fruit. And apple tree. And eyeball. Look, it’s a weird language. Anyway, it comes from the Proto Germanic apalaz and Proto Indo European abel-, apple. Fun fact, in MiddleEnglish apple used to mean any fruit that wasn’t a berry, and also included some nuts. And the tree of knowledge mentioned in the bible might not have had apples, but some other fruit that people were just calling apples.

Peach showed up in the fifteenth century, although weirdly enough it was a last name as early as the late twelfth century. It comes from the Old French pesche (peach or peach tree), which is from the Medieval Latin pesca and Late Latin pessica/persica. That word happens to be from the classical Latin phrase malum Persicum, which is what they called a peach and literally translates to Persian apple. Although they stole that phrase from Greek. Peaches are actually Chinese, but they did come to Europe via Persia and I guess that’s the name that stuck.

Cherry first showed up in the fourteenth century, although it did appear earlier in the last name Chyrimuth, which is literally cherry mouth and why is that not still a name? It comes from the Anglo French cherise, Old North French also cherise, and Vulgar Latin ceresia. That was also taken from Greek, in this case the word kerasian, cherry, and kerasos, cherry tree. The fun fact for this one is that there was another word for cherry in Old English, ciris, which apparently also comes from ceresia, just via West Germanic. Weird.

Grape showed up in the mid thirteenth century from the Old French grape, which meant…grape. Or a bunch of grapes. It’s thought to be from another Old French word, graper, which could mean pick grapes as well as steal or catch with a hook. If that is where it’s from, then it’s from the Proto Germanic krappon (love that word), which means hook. And might be where cramp comes from. And the fun fact for this one: it used to be winberige in Old English, which translates to wine berry. Because come on. That’s all anyone cared about.

Plum comes from the Old English plume (plum, big shock), via a Germanic use of the Vulgar Latin pruna and classical Latin prunum, plum. And yeah, that’s where prune comes from, too, Well, the dried plum prune. Not what you do to overgrown plants. Before that, prunum is from the Greek prounon/proumnon. And, well, if you ever need an anagram for pronoun, now you have one.

Tony Jebson’s page on the Origins of Old English

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Checking In

Remember how I do resolutions at the beginning of every year? Because I sure didn’t. I meant to check in on them last week but totally forgot about it. So I might as well do it now!

Resolutions 2017
1. Finish the first draft of my new WIP and hopefully start editing it.

2. Come up with an idea for a new story that I probably won’t have time to write but still want anyway.

4. Build a rocket ship and move to Mars because I don’t want to live on this planet anymore.

5. Find a new project to work on in my spare time. You know, something easy that I can work on when I’m too tired to write.

6. Try to eat better.

7. Keep on blogging!

I seem to be on track. Holy crap, I’m even eating better. I can’t believe my goals are actually almost being met. This is insanity. If things keep going this good for me, maybe people won’t be racist, sexist jerkholes anymore! (That would be the replacement for number 3, BTW)

I like how things are going. Well, kind of. Goal-wise. What about you? Now that we’re more than halfway through, how’s 2017 treating you?

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Loads And Loads Of Loading

Why does yelling at it never work?
If you ever hear a faint “Load!”, perhaps it’s me yelling at the wi-fi in a universe that no longer exists.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Language of Confusion: Gone and Done

Now for some basic words that we all use all the time, go and do.

Do comes from the Middle English do, the first person of the Old English don, which just means do. It comes from the West Germanic don and earlier, the Proto Indo European dhe-, set or put in place. As for the other tenses, did comes from the Old English dyde, which is a reduplicated syllable (that means a part of the word was doubled)—which was how West Germanic used to make words past tense.

There’s also does, which comes from doth, which became an S because of the Northumbrian dialect of Old English. Done comes from the Old English gedon, which has a bunch of different meanings, including do. Not sure why they dropped the ge- from it. Maybe so it would fit better? 

Go comes from the Old English gan, which just means go. Before that it was the West Germanic gaian and Proto Indo European gh­e-, release or let go. Funnily enough, go is what’s called a defective verb, which is actually kind of what it sounds like. In grammar terms, defective means that it’s missing some of its forms. You know, like how I can go, but I can’t have goed. Since it was missing a tense, back in Old English used eode, which we lost at some point and replaced with went.

Went used to be a variant past tense/past participle of wend. Somehow it got taken from wend and given to go, and wended became the past tense of wend. For no real reason. What the hell. We could be using eode.

Tony Jebson’s page on the Origins of Old English
Encyclopaedia Britannica

Tuesday, July 11, 2017


I generally like fiction where a story is told in an unusual, experimental format. And this story has that in spades. The fact that it revolves around football of all things is more than a little surprising.

At the time I’m writing this, it’s only posted a couple of chapters and I’m eagerly waiting the next one. Hopefully by the time you’re reading, more are up. Go read it and tell me what you think! Trippy, right?

It does make me wonder what the future is going to be like. The long future, that is. Tens of thousands, even hundreds of thousands of years away. Will humans still be here? If we are, will we even be recognizable as humans? Will we have found some way to save the planet or will we abandon it for somewhere new?

So many questions. I can’t even fathom an answer.

Saturday, July 8, 2017


This…really happened.
So now corn goes on the list of things I can’t leave unattended, which includes donuts, celery, and tomato juice. Although in fairness to Peaches all those other things are because of Veronica.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Language of Confusion: -Tude, Part II

Here’s the second part! And I assume last.

I’ve almost always encountered amplitude as a term in physics, where it’s the size of a wave, but I have heard it a few times as a synonym for largeness, which is literally what it means. It showed up in the mid sixteenth century as a word for being ample, coming from the Middle French amplitude and classical Latin amplitudinem, breadth or extent. The core word here is amplus, which means the largest or spacious, and is of course the origin word for ample. Fun fact: know how Latin usually steals words from Greek? Well, this time they stole it from (okay, technically it evolved from) Proto Italic, where the word is amlo-, or able to seize. Not sure how it got from seize to large, but that’s words for you.

Latitude showed up in the late fourteenth century meaning breadth, which is the second time in this series that we’ve heard that word. It comes from the Old French latitude and classical Latin latitudo, width. So at least that makes sense. It’s from the root word latus, which could mean side, wide, or broad, and is from the Proto Indo European stleto-/stele, spread or extend.

Longitude also showed up in the late fourteenth century, where it meant length or height (so, the opposite of latitude). It comes from the classical Latin longitudo, length, from longus, or as we all know it, long. This means that this word is just long with the -tude suffix on it. It’s weird when words actually make sense.

Altitude makes another that showed up in the late fourteenth century, meaning what it does today, height in the sky. Although back then it referred to the stars in the sky because there weren’t any planes. The word comes from the classical Latin altitudinem, height, and altus, high. The al- is actually a Proto Indo European word for grow or nourish, so this word was always related to height in some way.

Anyway, there are other words that end in -tude—a lot of them, but I don’t really think it’s necessary to go into all of them as there’s nothing new to learn. They’re all verbs or something with -tude on them to make them nouns (like fortitude or multitude). And I’m sure I’ll get to the front part of the word eventually.


Tuesday, July 4, 2017

July Goals

Wow. It’s somehow [current month] already.

I’m just going to be using that as a header on these posts from now on, because I seem to say it all the time. Anyway, goals.

June Goals
1. Get to 50K on my WIP (so about six thousand words).
It was actually less than I thought, so I made it easily. Hopefully I can keep up the pace.

2. Start organizing the outline for abovementioned WIP. This is actually pretty early for me.
Ha ha, no. Didn’t even try.

3. Get to all the stuff this month that I didn’t do last month. If it ever stops raining!
It’s a miracle! It finally stopped raining and now the fire orb is in the sky again! I think I did everything that needed to be done, although I’ll probably remember something else later on.

So I guess I did some things, but not all things. Solid C effort. If you’re grading on a curve. Which is only fair, damn it.

Anyway, this month:

July Goals
1. 10K more on my WIP. Go big or go home.

2. Update my etymology page before it gets ridiculous again.

3. Maybe actually do the outline. If free time starts falling from the sky.

I’m probably overreaching by a lot, sometimes it’s the only way to get going again. What are you up to this month?

Saturday, July 1, 2017


Sometimes I can’t decide what subject to post about.
When in doubt, always go for the option that requires the least amount of effort.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Language of Confusion: -Tude, Part I

I thought that the suffix -Tude would be an interesting thing to look at this week. Then I realized just how many words end in it and I was like, damn it. Damn it all. People just shove it at the end of words all the time because it’s a word forming element that appears in abstract nouns. It’s from the French -ude and classical Latin -udo, and here’s a bunch of words that end with it.

Attitude showed up relatively recently in word terms, sometime in the mid seventeenth century, where it meant a position of a figure in a statue or painting, although it could mean a “mode of regarding” when it was short for the phrase attitude of mind. Apparently from there it morphed to the “posture of the body supposed to imply some mental state” and then in the nineteenth century behavior reflecting an opinion. It wasn’t until 1962 that it took on the arrogant, insolent connotation as a form of slang. Anyway, the word itself comes from the French attitude and Italian attitudine, disposition or posture. Before that it was the Late Latin aptitudinem, which, well, it looks like aptitude for a reason.

Which leads us to our next word. Aptitude showed up in the early fifteenth century from the Late Latin aptitudo, fitness, which is related to the abovementioned aptitudinem. That in turn is from the classical Latin aptus, suited or fitting. How...apt.

Gratitude showed up in the mid fifteenth century from the Middle French gratitude or Medieval Latin gratitudinem, thankfulness, which can be found in the classical Latin gratus, grateful. But looking at grateful and gratitude lets you really see how different the suffix can make a word. Grateful is something you are, while gratitude is something you have!

We have an exact year for this word: 1812, where it showed up meaning dullness. Really! It’s from the French platitude, which literally translates to flatness and comes from the Old French plat, which means flat. And is the origin word for plateau. Plat- is actually a Proto Indo European root word meaning to spread and actually shows up in a lot of words (pretty much anything with flat, plat, or plane in it, as well as more that we’re not getting into today). As for why platitude is another word for cliché, well, you know how dull those sayings are.

That’s it for this week. But don’t worry. There are many more -tude words to look into!