Tuesday, March 31, 2020

From The Spamfiles

Here, something nice and innocuous to take your mind off the horrible, horrible world.

You’d think with such an urgent private message, they’d put in a name instead of a question mark.

In these times, it probably means encasing your home in vacuum-sealed plastic. You don’t need to breathe, right?

Aren’t we all looking for a gorgeous and a bomb Rocket woman?

My guy, you’re either really late, or way too early.

Wait, do you have communication issues because of trust issues? Because those things don’t seem necessarily related. Also it seems like more of a you problem than a me problem.

Look at my new follower. This is… certainly a thing that’s happening. Where’s that block button?

Saturday, March 28, 2020


This is, like, 90% of my interactions with my mother.
She doesn’t usually leave me an opening like that. I couldn’t not take it.

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Language Of Confusion: Take Your Seats, Part II

Back again for another fun filled adventure. Did you know that sit comes from the Proto Indo European sed-, to sit? You should, because that’s what I told you last week. And it’s a part of so many words. Some of which make sense. Most of which… do not. Because etymology.

First let’s look at some that make sense, like sedentary. It showed up in the late sixteenth century from the Middle French sédentaire and classical Latin sedentarius, sitting. It’s from the word sedentem, sat, from the verb sedere, to sit, and that’s from the Proto Indo European sed-. There’s also sediment, which showed up in the mid sixteenth century, from the Middle French sédiment and classical Latin sedimentum, sediment or settling. And that too is from sedere. Because stuff settles to the bottom of liquids, it’s related to seat.

Okay, time to get a little weirder. Sedate showed up in the mid seventeenth century meaning calm, not meaning being sedated until 1945. It’s from the classical Latin sedatus, quiet. Now, that one’s from the verb sedare, with an a, meaning to quiet or settle. But that’s also from sedere, so it’s not too odd. They just apparently decided when they were speaking more metaphorically, to replace the e with the a.

Next, saddle. Hey, it’s something you sit on. It’s from the Old English sadol, saddle, from the Proto Germanic sathulaz. That’s from sed-, which makes this the first of these words to get to us by a non-Latin route, so there’s that.

You know what else is related? Sedan. And boy, is that one a story. It showed up in the early seventeenth century but back then it only meant a chair—a chair is a seat, so yeah, that tracks. It’s thought to be (although not definitely) from the Italian sede, which means seat, from the classical Latin sedes, which is also a seat, and is from sedere and sed-. As for why it means a car, well… there’s no real reason for that. It just showed up in American English in 1912 meaning a “closed automobile seating four or more”. No idea why they picked that particular word.

Finally this week, supersede. No, I’m not making this up. It showed up in the mid fifteenth century in Scottish, believe it or not. It’s from the Middle French superceder, delay or defer, and that’s from the classical Latin supersedere, which again means supersede but also literally means “to sit on top of.” The super- means above and the rest is from sedere, to sit. To sit above, to sit on top of, to delay. Well, it makes more sense than sedan.

Tony Jebson’s page on the Origins of Old English

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

From The Spamfiles

Here’s something that… probably won’t cheer you up but is the best I have.

I’ve gotten a couple of these recently, and, surprisingly, on posts that aren’t five years old. It’s like the spammers have finally figured out it’s kind of suspicious when they post their comments on ancient posts. Not really sure why they’re so anti-soy, but whatever.

Oh, they got my address from a directory. I was worried there for a second that this might be some kind of scam.

Ah, yes. My ATM card for my Africa-based bank. It’s not like there are any banks around here for me to use.

…That combination of emojis just made me throw up in my mouth a little.

Huh. I wonder if being in quarantine is going to make this type of spam way more prevalent. My guess is… yes.

Good, the profile I didn’t create has been successfully created. Time to use all those faitures before I miss all the hot adults.

...I suppose I should be surprised it took them this time to turn it into spam. But mostly I’m just enraged. Though they are right. The government doesn’t want to help us and actively wants us dead.

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Not Much Has Changed, Really

My entire life has been in preparation for this.
Ha ha, it’s funny because we’re all going to die.

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Language Of Confusion: Take Your Seats, Part I

See, I said I was going to do to sit, and now I am. And there are a lot of words related to this one. Yay, another multi-parter!

Sit itself comes from the Old English sittan, which just means seat, so no shocking revelations there. It’s from the Proto Germanic setjan, from the Proto Indo European sed-, to sit. Isn’t it weird when it’s straightforward?

Seat unsurprisingly is from the same place, although it has a kind of different way to English. See, it showed up in the thirteenth century from the Old Norse saeti, seat. So, slightly different origin. But that too is from Proto Germanic, in this case the word saet-, which is also from sed-. Also, seat kind of evolved by the late thirteenth century to also mean an established place (i.e. a seat of power), and because that could also be a residence, there are lots of English place names that end in -set. Probably the most interesting use of seat is in deep-seated. That word is much more recent than the other seats, having shown up in 1741 meaning “having its root far below the surface”. Since seat could mean an established place, a deep seat was a firmly established place. And that’s the reason for that.

Set is also related, and also brings in the weirdness of etymology we’ve all come to love. See, to set, as in to set something down, is from the Old English settan, to set, establish, or place. It’s from the Proto Germanic bisatejanan, to sit/set, and that’s from the Proto Indo European sod-, a variant of sed-. But. A set, as in a set of items, is not related. It has a completely different origin! It’s from the Old French sette, sequence, a variant of secte, religious community. You know, like sect. It’s from the Medieval Latin secta, retinue, from the classical Latin secta, a following. Yeah, a set of items is a sect, not a set (down).

Finally today, we’ll look at settle. It comes from the Old English setlan, to cause to sit, from setl, a seat (its definition actually ranged from a chair or throne to a butt!). It’s from the Proto Germanic setla-, from the Proto Indo European sedla-, another offshoot of sed-.

A settle is a butt. I find that way too amusing.

Tony Jebson’s page on the Origins of Old English

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

From The Spamfiles

Here we go again.

Your soulmate id here… You know, it’s never a good sign when a place can’t spell “is”.

Okay, so this private message is either for the Riddler or the Question. Unfortunately I don’t have either of their emails.

Wait, am I unsubscribed or do I have to confirm it? Make up your mind!

A new follower on Twitter! I’ll be sure to follow back right away!

Plus this comment I got on a post from just a few weeks ago. Let’s go and take good information for education.

What do you think? Can she trust me that I am not going to scam her out of her money? What kind of monster would do such a thing?

Saturday, March 14, 2020


This has happened more than once.
Does it count as kicking a cat if you’re just walking and the cat runs into your leg at top speed?

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Language Of Confusion: Part IV

Okay, now for the words where it gets a little weird. The TL;DR for this is that all these words come from the Proto Indo European pere-, grant or allot. Which you would know if you’d been paying attention!

Portion is a part word. It showed up in the early fourteenth century, coming from the Old French porcion and classical Latin portionem, all of which basically mean a portion. Portionem has a bit of weirdness to it in that it’s actually from a phrase, pro portione, which means proportionally (I bet you can’t guess what word we’re talking about next). That word is from partio, which means part or division, from pars, which means part and is from pere-. As we’ve talked about every week for the past four weeks.

Now, obviously, proportion. It also showed up in the late fourteenth century, and much like portion, it’s from the Old French proporcion. We just straight up stole everything but the spelling. That’s from the classical Latin proportionem, which meant something like relationally. That’s from the already mentioned pro portione, with the pro meaning for and the rest meaning part. Proportion is… a part for? A division for? I mean, I can see it, but that doesn’t mean it’s not confusing.

Here’s where it gets fun. You know what else is related to part? Jeopardy. It showed up in the late fourteenth century, where it was spelled either jupartie or ioparde. The meaning was danger, but early on it also meant a cunning plan, and it’s based on the Old French phrase jeu parti, a lost game/a divided game/a game with even chances. Basically, it meant uncertainty, which does have an element of danger to it, so that’s where the definition came from. The jeu part literally means game or joke (that’s where joke comes from) and parti is from the verb partir, to divide or separate, from the classical Latin partire, to share, another descendant of pars. So because a fair game has an unknown outcome, we have jeopardy.

Finally, today, rampart. Just kidding! Rampart isn’t related to part. Although it is descended from a completely unrelated pere-. Actually, we’re going to look at repartee, which… while I know of it, I’ve never heard or seen it used in a sentence. I actually had to look up the definition (it means a witty reply). Repartee showed up relatively late, in the mid seventeenth century, from the French repartie, which just means repartee and was originally a fencing term. It’s from the Old French repartir, to reply promptly or to start out again, a combination of the prefix re-, back, and partir, divide or separate, which we’ve already talked about. So… it’s to separate back? I told you these were weird. At least, weird compared to the other part words.


Tuesday, March 10, 2020

From The Spamfiles

Yay! Something easy that doesn’t require any amount of introspection!

Keep waiting, Alicia.

It wouldn’t be a generic, content-mill, heavily advertorial piece. I’m so lucky. Thanks, person who doesn’t even use my name. I know I can trust you.

But tell me, are you interested? Seriously, say interested a few more times.

Wait, are you telling me to confirm or have I already been confirmed? You know, sometimes it’s like the spammers don’t even care.

Leaning a little too heavy on the emojis there, bud.

Wow. This one’s so scummy that it links to Reddit. No thanks.

Saturday, March 7, 2020

It’s A Good Reason

My mom got a phone upgrade, and you know there are always deals that come with that.
I mean, I took it because it’s a free phone, but I’m not saying I don’t have regrets.

Thursday, March 5, 2020

Language of Confusion: Part III

We looked at words beginning with part, so now it’s time to look at words with part at the end. Or the middle. Part of course being from the Proto Indo European pere-, grant or allot.

First, apart showed up in the late fourteenth century, from the Old French a part. So, no major revelations here. The a comes from the classical Latin ad, to, and partem, which means part and is from pars, a piece or a part. And that word is traced from pere-. So it’s… to part something. To set something apart.

Depart showed up in the mid thirteenth century as departen, and while it meant to depart as we know it, for a little while it also meant to separate into parts, which we don’t use at all anymore. It’s from the Old French departir, to divide, separate oneself, or even to die, from the Late Latin departire, to divide. The de- means from, and partire is to part or divide, so this word is to part from. That makes sense, although the separate into parts thing is still weird. Anyway, partire is from pars, which is from pere-. Man, is it just me, or are all these words really straightforward? How bizarre!

Now for a word where part is in the middle. Compartment showed up in the mid sixteenth century from the Middle French compartiment, from the Italian compartimento, from the Late Latin compartiri, to divide. The com- prefix is probably just intensive here, and the rest is from pars. So a compartment is something that’s really separated out.

Impart showed up in the early fifteenth century, although back then it meant to give part of your possessions, and then later on it meant to share or take part in. So while impart once referred to physical possessions, it morphed into non-physical things, and these days that’s the only way we use it. It’s from the Old French empartir/imparter, to allocate or share, from the Late Latin impartire, to share or divide with another. The in- is from en and means in, big shocker, and, well, partire again. Impart is to share in? I guess that kind of makes sense. Almost.


Tuesday, March 3, 2020

March Goals

Well, it’s March. I suppose that’s something. What was I supposed to be doing this past month?

February Goals
1. Do all the adult stuff I have to that gives me panic attacks.
Yes, I did all this, and I hope I never have to do it again ever.

2. Work on edits to my other WIP.
Hey, I actually did this. I did pretty okay, although I still think I could’ve done more.

3. Keep working on the query, and hopefully get around to finishing that story.
I did work on the query a bit, but I never did get around to the story. I feel no inspiration for first draft writing, so I’ve been sticking to editing.

So I guess it wasn’t a total failure. I’m really hoping March is easier to deal with. Maybe I’d find more time to write.

March Goals
1. Get the query to 100% shape. No idea how I’ll do this, though.

2. Work on substantial edits for my other WIP.

3. If I have time, get back to edits on the sequel to first WIP.

Fingers crossed that there aren’t any catastrophes this month. What are you hoping to do? Are you as happy about the change in seasons as I am?

Saturday, February 29, 2020

Earth Shaking

I’m not even kidding, the whole house shook.
It was ridiculous. I’ve experienced one earthquake in my life that I haven’t slept through and it was barely a vibration. This was way more powerful.

Seriously, dude. Turn down the bass!

Thursday, February 27, 2020

Language of Confusion: Part II

Something about “Part, Part II” seemed kind of ridiculous.

Anyway! Today we’re looking at words that begin with part, which comes from the Proto Indo European pere-, to grant or allot.

First, party. In the sense of a party of people, it showed up in the fourteenth century, but back then it meant a part/section/portion, which is not something we really use anymore. From there it evolved to a party, as in a group of people, and it didn’t mean a party you throw for fun until 1716 (it wasn’t a verb, like to party, until 1922, which… yeah, that sounds like the 1920s). As for its history, party comes from the Old French partie, which meant a part or portion, like party originally did in English. Its verb form is partir, to divide, from the classical Latin partire/partiri, which means to share ordivide. That’s related to pars, part in Latin, which we talked about last week and is from pere-.

Next, partner showed up in the fourteenth century, although back then it was spelled partiner, which was also spelled parcener. That comes from the Old French parçonier, partner, from parçon, partition or portion, and that’s from the classical Latin partitionem, which, you know, partition. Partition itself showed up in the fifteenth century as particioun, from the Old French particion, which is another descendant of partitionem, pars, and pere-. We can also throw partisan in there, although it’s relatively newer, having shown up in the mid sixteenth century. It’s from the Middle French partisan, from the classical Latin partem, part, which is again from pars.

There are also part words that have dropped the T, like parse and parcel. Parse showed up in the mid sixteenth century as a grammatical term. It comes from the Middle English pars, part of speech, from the Old French pars, which is actually the plural of part, which means… part. And because everything about this one is super obvious, that pars is from the Latin pars. In slightly less duh origins, there’s also parcel, which showed up in the late fourteenth century meaning a portion or part of something. Basically, it went from a part of something, to a quantity of anything, to a quantity of goods in a package, to a package. It’s from the Old French parcele, and before that the Medieval Latin parcella and Vulgar Latin particella. That’s from the classical Latin particula, another word we talked about last week as being from pars and pere-.

How strangely sensible this one was.


Tuesday, February 25, 2020

From The Spamfiles

Are they a woman who looks like a god or a woman who looks at a god? Seriously though, what is this trying to say? Like, are they trying to say they’re religious? Or did they misspell “good”? Damn it, I’m once again spending way too much time thinking about this!

Which do you want, Colombian Beauty or Ukrainian Charm? Ooh! What about both? Can we do both?

Now, they used a “no reply @ gmail” address, so that’s actually believable. But then they immediately ruin it with stuff like a ® symbol just thrown in there, and then the fact that the salutation is just “Respected”. So close, guys. You almost had me there.

Come on, all you sensualist lovers and unicorns out there. Fun fact, a “unicorn” is a term used to describe a woman interested in sleeping with couples. Now you know and you can never erase it from your memory.

How… unsettlingly specific.

Saturday, February 22, 2020

Ouch Again

This… really happened.
I suppose it doesn’t hurt as bad as the last time it happened for absolutely no reason.

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Language of Confusion: Part, Part I

Yes, another multi-part series. And this one focusing on the word part! Considering how often I use it, I’m surprised it took this long to get to it. Buckle in, because this is going to be a long one.

Part itself showed up in the mid thirteenth century from the Old French part, which is from the classical Latin partem, which, you know, means part. Nothing shocking here. It can be traced all the way back to the Proto Indo European pere-, to grant or allot, which makes sense. You can allot a part of something.

Next, we’re going to look at a bunch of words that begin with part. Partial showed up in the late fourteenth century, just meaning not whole at first and then meaning biased towards one side in the early fifteenth century. For some reason. Anyway, it’s from the Medieval Latin partialis, partial, and classical Latin pars, which means part. That’s also where partem comes from, so we’re not looking at any major revelations here.

Participate showed up in the early sixteenth century, possibly from participation, which showed up in the late fourteenth century. Participation comes from the Old French participacion and Late Latin participationem, which means participating. In classical Latin, the verb form is participare, to participate. Now, the part from is from the already mentioned pars, but the -cip- part is from capere, to take, a word we’ve talked about extensively during my posts about case. So participate is “to take an allotment”. I guess if you’re participating, you are taking something…

Particular showed up in the late fourteenth century, from the Old French particuler and Late Latin particularis, from the classical Latin particula, which actually means particle. Yes, that’s where particle comes from. It also showed up in the late fourteenth century, and it’s also from particula. A particle is a particular thing.

How sensible this all was. I’m sure the next few weeks will change that.

Orbis Latinus

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

From The Spamfiles

Do… do people actually answer these? In spite of the fact that their email addresses are used in place of their names, and the bad grammar? I mean… they must fall for them, otherwise these messages wouldn’t still be coming. I just can’t wrap my head around HOW people buy this.

At least this one looks almost legit. The only red flag is the third party provider of the gift card “Mpell”. Because that’s totally a word.

Yes, I’m totally overwhelmed by the Ukrainian Charm. Mostly because they won’t stop sending it to me.

You have. Coffers aren’t usually picky.

It’s not often you get an offer for a new buddy. I approve. I also like how they say the persons shown in the photos aren’t necessarily users of the site, immediately followed by NO FAKE PROFILES.

No credit card requires girl will make first move.

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Valentine’s Day

This is what happens when you go to the grocery store on Valentine’s Day.
The line of men stretched all the way across the store. Apparently it didn’t occur to any of these guys to make plans in advance.

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Secret Origins: 9

Yeah, I felt like doing something easy this week.

As a word, nine comes from the Middle English nin, from the Old English nigon (which would have been pronounced ni-jon or ni-yon). Before that, it was the Proto Germanic newun, and it can be traced to the Proto Indo European newn. Which, you know. Just means nine.

If you look at the numeral, you can see that nine has actually been pretty consistent. Now, as I’ve been saying the last nine times I’ve done this, the numeral system we use originated in India, probably because they had a lot of advances in math in the early centuries of the era—I’m sure in no small part because they were actually the first to have the concept of zero. The 9 looked more like a seven in Brahmi (which is weird because the 7 also looked like that, but at a different angle), but then in Hindu, it has a little loop on it, so it looks like a 9 facing the other direction. Arabic flipped it over and then, yeah, just nine.

So that’s it for the basic numerals, since every other number is made up of some combination of 0-9. But there are still words to look at. I’m sure I’ll get to more of those the next time I’m looking for an easy post.

Damn, first I finished letters, now numbers. What else can I look at?

Tony Jebson’s page on the Origins of Old English

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

From The Spamfiles

I still can’t figure out the random capital letters that are thrown into words. What is its purpose? Is it a secret message? Is the secret message “my”?

It’s not a model. It’s almost a model. Also, what is with that creepy looking emoji?

We have your soul mate! The ransom is two million dollars! Send it by tonight or we’ll start lopping off fingers!

Jennifer is emailing to let me know that Rebecca has unlocked her private video! And they’re both definitely totally real people!

Huh. I think this email might be soliciting sex.

It’s very excited about being the support team. Good for them for being happy.