Saturday, October 14, 2017


Sometimes my mom makes me go walking with her. One time I found a really neat looking feather. Another time…

It ended up just being a statue, but it was hard to tell unless you were really close. And I never did find whatever it was that ran across the road.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Language of Confusion: Feelings of Worry

These feelings certainly feel appropriate for Halloween season. At least to me.

Worry used a lot as a noun these days, but it didn’t appear as one until 1804. Before that it was just a verb, coming from the Old English wyrgan, which actually means to strangle. It comes from the Proto Germanic wurgjan and Proto Indo European wer-, turn or bend, a word that’s the origin of a ton of other words. Just so many.

One of my least favorite words, anxiety showed up in the early-mid sixteenth century from the classical Latin anxietatem, anxiety. Anxious didn’t show up until a century later, coming from the Latin anxius, worried, which is related to angere, writhe, and anguere, snake. Um, the verb snake, not the reptile. Although I think that’s where the name for the reptile comes from. Anyway, the word can be further traced back to the Proto Indo European angh-, which is where we get anger, and also angst. Speaking of which...

Angst is a very young word, having shown up in 1944. It started as a term in psychology that came from the German word angst, which just means anxiety. And as I said, it can be traced to angh-.

Nervous showed up in the fifteenth century, where it meant “affecting the sinews”, which apparently can mean a tendon or asource of power (I’ve heard that word but I don’t think I’ve ever actually seen it used). Of course it’s related to nerve, coming from the classical Latin nervosus and nervus, which means sinew. That word seems to be popping up a lot here.


Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Scary Games

Because it’s that time of year again.

You Find Yourself In A Room
Not so much scary as it is psychological, this game is a text based adventure, where you type in words and the game responds almost like a story. Except in this case the game hates you. There are a few puzzles, but they are very simple. Mostly it’s just typing “look” and the game yelling at you. Anyway, it’s a fun, if weird, way to pass the time. Be warned, there is some swearing in this.

Don’t Escape
In a twist on the escape the room genre, in these three games you want to be locked in as securely as possible. They’re a mix of time management and point-and-click, and manage to be both tense and enjoyable. Go check them out when you have some time.

Deep Sleep
I’ve actually mentioned this game and its sequel before, but now the third and final game is out and you can play through the entire series. They are very atmospheric games, Lovecraftian almost. You know, without the racism.

You doing anything Halloween-y this month? Anything scary you want to share? 

Saturday, October 7, 2017


I imagine doing this a lot.
It would be much more satisfying if they didn’t have the brain of an insect.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Language of Confusion: Murderous Methods

Time for more etymology of scary things! Today’s topic: ways to kill someone.

Stab first showed up in the late fourteenth century, interestingly enough coming to us from Scottish the word stob, which also means stab. I think this is the first time I’ve ever featured a word of Scottish origin here. I can’t believe they’re the ones we have to thank for it!

Shoot comes from the Old English sceotan, which could mean shoot or drag or even move quickly. Makes sense since shooting does happen quickly. Anyway, it comes from the Proto Germanic skeutanan, which is from the Proto Indo European skeund-, shoot, chase, or throw and is the origin of words like sheet (seriously), shout, shut, and shuttle. But it’s the sheet one that really gets to me.

Strangle showed up in the late thirteenth century from the Old French estrangler and before that the classical Latin strangulare, which you know just means strangle. They took it from the Greek strangalan, choke or twist, from strangos, twisted. That word can in turn be traced back to the Proto Indo European strenk-, narrow or twist, and the origin word for string. Which you can use to strangle someone with!

Choke showed up in the fourteenth century as another word for strangle before morphing into to suffocate, like from swallowing something. Choke is actually from a former English word, acheken, from the Old English aceocian, choke or suffocate. Before that, it’s thought to come from another Old English word, ceoke, which means…cheek.

Suffocate showed up in the early fifteenth century, coming straight from the classical Latin suffocatus, which meant deprive from air. Or, you know, suffocate. It comes from the verb suffocare, to suffocate or smother, a mix of the prefix sub-, from under, and fauces, throat. And the origin of faucet! That makes more sense than mixing from under and throat and getting suffocate.

Tony Jebson’s page on the Origins of Old English

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

October Goals

Wow, it’s October already, and I got like nothing done. Ugh, sometimes these goals posts are so depressing.

September Goals
1. Again, finish the book. It could actually happen this time!
Except it didn’t. I hardly worked on it at all. Part of me feels bad about it, but the other part is too exhausted to care.

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

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

Not good considering that I didn’t do the most important thing. I don’t know why it’s getting so hard to just finish it. Sigh…

Anyway, this month.

October Goals
1. Write in my WIP! Please actually finish it this time!

2. Halloween spooky stuff, yay!

3. Rake the pine needles. Yes, it’s that time of year again.

Stupid pine needles. Although I might not have to rake them until the end of the month considering how hot it’s been lately. So what are you up to this month? Anything fun?