Next comes from the Old Englishniehsta/nyhsta/nesta (it’s different
depending on which dialect you choose) which means nearest or closest and comes
from their word for nigh, neah/neh. I assume you pronounce that
like you live in New England.
So it comes from their word for nigh. Gee, I wonder if
that’s related? Of course it is. Nigh comes from the Old English neah/neh (it depends
on the dialect), which just means nigh or near.
And speaking of near,
it used to be the Old English…near.
See as it turns out, all these words used to be different versions of the same
word: nigh. They were like good/better/best, the regular word, its comparative, and its superlative, in this case nigh, nigher (near), and nighest (next). Can’t you hear it? But at some
point near and next split off and became their own words that we actually use
way more than nigh these days.
Pretty cool one this week. Don’t you agree? No? Just me
I think the middle must be the toughest part of the story.
You know, except for the rest of it.
My book is going very slowly (as I’m writing this, my word
count is ~45K). It’s kind of frustrating. I used to be able to churn out a
rough draft in under two months. Of course, none of those books are even
remotely readable, so maybe that isn’t such a bad thing. It’s just hard to keep
thinking that way when you live in a world where you’re supposed to do things
both quickly and perfectly.
It’s coming along. So I keep telling myself. I really like
how this story is shaping up. Sometimes I worry that the main character doesn’t
have enough of a personality, that it’s only the things that happen to her that
make her interesting, but that’s probably a problem for editing. And I still
like her. With all the crap going on her life, she deals with everything as
practically as she can. Including the fact that someone almost killed her. She’s
definitely someone I’m rooting for. But maybe I’m biased.
Still, there are so many things that I wonder about. Is the
story interesting enough? Am I handling it right? Will I ever actually finish?
Still having figured that one out. I have an ending in my. It’s getting to it
that need to figure out. Yeah, I know this is why people outline but I was
afraid if I stopped to do that I’d never actually get to writing. You got to
keep up the momentum, you know?
Anyway, that’s what I’m up to. How’s your writing going?
This is real. The conversation is made up because it was by text, but this actually happened.
Not kidding. A World War II grenade. It was with things belonging to my uncle who died in December, but he may have gotten it from another uncle who died twenty five years ago and just shoved it in the attic without telling anyone. If my grandparents knew about it, they didn’t tell my aunt when she and her husband bought the house from them, which seems really unlikely.
Oh, and the answer to the above question is that you call the police and they call in the bomb squad to get rid of it.
More symbols! Also
kind of a short one. I guess that’s fitting considering how long last weeks
The word four comes from the Old Englishfeower, which means four of course. Before that it was the Proto Germanicfedwor and Proto Indo Europeankwetwer. Yes, originally there was no
f in four. One theory is that it’s because of the next number (you know, five).
I don’t know how. Maybe people looked at the F in five and were like, whoa. I
The symbol’s history is a lot weirder. Even more so than 3! The
Medieval version of it looks like a ribbon,
while the Arabic version is more like a backwards 3,
or sometimes what looks like a bobby pin.
Then the Hindu version is an upside down
ribbon. And the Brahmi had a plus symbol. When it wasn’t a kind of loop, which at least might be where the upside down ribbon came from.
There’s…not really much else? Sorry. But I would like to
point out that for a while there was this post going around that said that the
symbols were all based on the number of corners they had (look at this picture for a better idea). It’s total nonsense, especially since most of the symbols
aren’t how we really write the numbers. Especially nine. Come on, who puts a
spiral at the end of 9 just so it has more angles to it? Who writes them all
You know, like who, what, where, when, why, which, and how.
Maybe we’ll get an explanation as to why how is the only one not beginning with
W. Why don’t we change that?
Who comes from the Old Englishhwa, which could also mean someone or anyone as well as who. It’s from the Proto Germanichwas and earlier, the Proto Indo Europeankwo-, which was the source of a lot of interrogative pronouns, as we’re about to see. No explanation as to why it switched from K to H, but it
does seem like the H to W thing is just because the former has softened over
the years. And whom is from the same place, just via hwam,
which is another version of hwa.
What is from the Old English hwaet, where it
could mean what but also who, something...and hark.
It’s from the Proto Germanic hwat,
which you may recognize as what with the first two letters switched, and the
Proto Endo European kwod, which is a
form of kwos. Another form for who.
Why comes from the Old English (again) hwi, which
was a form of hwaet called the instrumental case.
Instrumental is an old grammar form that appeared in Old English (Russian
actually still has it) that indicates indirect receivers of action, objects of
prepositions, or that a thing is being used. Basically why comes from a form of
what that isn’t used anymore and as we all know it comes from the word for who.
Although Proto Indo European also had a version of why, kwi, again, another version of kwo.
Okay, you can probably guess at least some of this one.
Where comes from the Old English hwaer, which
means where. No surprises here. It’s
from the Proto Germanic hwar, which
is from, all together now, kwo. Are you beginning to see a pattern?
I probably don’t even need to look this one up to guess, but
here we go. When is from the Old English whaenne, which means
when as a direct question. It’s from
the Proto Germanic hwan-/hwa- which… looks very familiar. Dammit,
it’s the same one as before and it’s from kwo-.
I’m no longer expecting anything new. Which was hwilc/hwaelc in Old English, and was
actually short for hwi-lic, “of what
form”. So yeah. Hwi again. And the lic means body (body/form) and is where like comes
from. Hwi-lic comes from the Proto Germanic hwa-lik-,
and we all should know by now that hwa/hwi comes kwo-.
How comes from the Old English hu, just how. Before that, it’s
the Proto Germanic hwo and of course
Proto Indo European kwo. No clue as to why this one stuck with H while none of
the other ones did. Just weird I guess.
tl;dr: All question words go back to kwo-. It is the one
I found a game. In it, all you do is search through a pile
of keys and try them in a lock until one fits. Then you leave and see how many
tries it took you.
That’s it. Seriously.
It’s the stupidest, most pointless game ever. The controls
are wonky (don’t knock a key off the cliff before you’ve tried it), it’s not a
particularly attractive game, and there’s literally nothing to do except put
keys in the lock.
So why can’t I stop
Have you ever been unable to stop doing anything pointless?
What’s the most addictive dumb game you’ve ever found?
Neither reluctance nor reluctant are very old, bothhaving showed up in the mid seventeenth century. Now reluctant used to mean unwilling, pretty
close to what we use it for, but reluctance specifically meant the “act of
struggling against” when it first came into being and it wasn’t until a couple
of decades later that it meant unwillingness to do something. And also it comes
from an awesome word that we don’t use anymore, reluct, which means struggle or
Reluct (why don’t we have it anymore??) comes from the
classical Latinreluctari, which means to resist, not a huge leap.
It’s a combination of the prefix re-, against, and luctari, struggle, so
it actually makes sense. And hey, if you’re reluctant to do something you’re
definitely going to struggle against it, right? Luctari can actually be traced
all the way back to the Proto Indo Europeanlug-to, bent. Okay, that one I can’t
figure. Bending something is a struggle? I guess if it’s not very bendable. I
don’t know what it could be referring to, though. Not metal, as Proto Indo
European is like fifty five hundred years old and that’s way before metalwork
I’m reading too much into this. It went from bent to
unwilling. Let’s leave it at that.