Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Mid-Year Check In

Boy, am I not looking forward to this. What even are my 2020 resolutions?

1. Get WIP-1 ready to be published.
It’s getting there. I think. Who knows if it’ll ever get published, though.

2. Finish editing WIP-2 to get it ready for beta reading.
I haven’t done nearly enough on this, but in my defense, 2020.

3. Finish editing the other WIP that kind of got pushed aside after I decided to write WIP-2.
Same answer as above.

4. Write the two short side stories I have planned, and edit everything.
Started on this, but got distracted. Because. You know. Everything.

5. Maybe write the sequel to the other WIP. I don’t know, I’ll have to see if I have the time.
Didn’t work on the sequel, worked on another new book entirely, because of course I did.

6. Work on my health and hopefully get better.
Wow, this was a goal? Wow. Frankly, the fact that I haven’t gotten sick with the deadly disease infecting the entire planet is probably a win. Hope I can keep that going.

7. Not back down when I know what’s right. Ever.
Did not think this one would be tested as much as it was.

So. Yeah. 2020, man. What a frigging year. I want to go crawl under the covers and hide for the rest of the year. No, that won’t do any good. For the rest of my life. Yes, that should finally make things better.

How has this year gone for you? Punch to the gut? Kick to the shins? Something in between?

Thursday, July 9, 2020

Language of Confusion: Do-, Part III

Back again! Quick reminder: the prefix do- (no relation to the word do) is from the Proto Indo European word for give. It shows up in a lot of places. Although as you’ll see, we’re almost out of words that actually have do- in them. Some of them don’t even have a d!

First today, condone. It showed up in 1857, surprisingly recently, meaning forgive or pardon (to condone something was to forgive someone for doing it), although it actually appeared in dictionaries in the sixteenth century—people just didn’t use it normally—and then by 1962 people were using it to mean to tolerate something. It comes from the classical Latin condonare, pardon, a mix of the prefix com-, which is probably just intensive here, and donare, to endow, which we’ve actually talked about already since it’s also the origin for endow. So I guess by condoning something you’re… really giving it?

Speaking of pardon, it’s also a do- word. And also the last word we’re looking at that actually has do- in it. Pardon showed up in the fourteenth century specifically referring to the forgiveness of sins, and then in a more general sense in the late fourteenth century. It’s from the Old French pardon, from the verb pardoner, to grant or forgive. That’s from the Medieval Latin perdonum, and from the Vulgar Latin perdonare. The per- means forward, and the rest is also from donare. To give forward is to forgive. Oh, wow. Par-don. For give. Mind = blown.

Next we’re looking at render, which is not related to rend in the least. Render has kind of a confusion origin. It showed up in the late fourteenth century meaning to repeat or say again, and in the late fourteenth century started to mean to hand over or deliver. In the late fifteenth century it was to return (like a verdict), and in the late sixteenth century it meant represent or depict (to render something). As for render’s origins, it’s from the Old French rendre, from the Vulgar Latin rendere, from the classical Latin reddere, to return or give back. The first part of the word is from re-, back, and the second part is from dare, previously mentioned as meaning to give. To render something is to give it back!

Surrender is from the same place. It showed up in the mid fifteenth century from the Old French surrendre, to give up. The sur- means over and the rest is just render. To give back over. To surrender. Not much more to add to that. If you want weirder prefixes, we can look at vendor, which is just from vend. Vend showed up in the early seventeenth century from the classical Latin vendere, tosell. It’s actually a contraction of venumdare, also to sell, and the venum means sold (and is actually the origin word of venal) while the dare is to give. To vend is to give for sale. Basically, this one was a long word and people kept shortening it.

Finally today, we’re looking at rent. Not like the past tense of rend, because much like render, it is in no way related. No, this is rend like people pay for lodgings. It’s a very old word, having shown up in the mid twelfth century meaning income or revenue. It’s from the Old French rente, from the Vulgar Latin rendita, and that one is from our old friend rendere—as in render. Rent is something rendered. And for some reason the French replaced the D with a T.


Tuesday, July 7, 2020

July Goals

Right, it’s goals day. Let’s see what I didn’t do last month.

June Goals
1. Finish new WIP. Not thinking this will be any problem.
And it wasn’t. Really, writing this was the best part of my month.

2. Actually work on one of my old projects this month! The exclamation point means I’m serious!
Not serious enough, it seems. It was just a lot more fun to work on the new WIP.

3. Update the etymology page. I keep forgetting to do this!
Hey, I did this! Yay!

So not bad really, considering how tough June was to get through.  Sometimes you have to take wins where you can get them.

July Goals
1. Finish first round of editing notes on WIP. I have over four hundred of them, mostly me telling myself to add more descriptions.

2. After finishing the above, complete the next round of structure edits on the WIP.

3. Look at the yearly goals I’m supposed to be working on that I’m sure I’ve made no progress on. Eep.

Stay tuned next week for when I actually see what my goals are for this year. Wow, I can’t believe more than half of 2020 is gone. It really seems like it’s been a lot longer. A lot longer.

What are you up to this month?

Thursday, July 2, 2020

Language of Confusion: Do-, Part II

Part two of looking at do-, the Proto Indo European suffix meaning to give that shows up in a lot of weird places. I mean, last week kind of made sense, but trust me. Things are getting weird.

First, let’s look at date. Um, not the fruit. That’s not related. Anyway! It showed up in the early fourteenth century meaning a time period (a romantic date didn’t come about until 1885). It’s from the Old French date, Medieval Latin data (gee, why does that sound familiar?), and the classical Latin datus, which means given. So it originally meant given, which makes sense considering do- means to give, but the evolution from that to a time is weird. Apparently, it was because the Romans ended their correspondence with the word “given”, and then the day and month, possibly as in given to be messaged on that time. And because of that, date means time.

Now, data showed up later, in the mid seventeenth century, also from datum and its verb form dare, to give. Originally it meant “a fact given as the basis for calculation in mathematical problems”, so data was basically a math theorem, and then in 1897, it meant “numerical facts collected for future reference”, which is more or less what we still use it as. Kind of funny to think that data, which we use so m uch these days, is only about 120 years old. Also in this vein, mandate. It showed up in the sixteenth century from the Middle French mandat and classical Latin mandatum, command. The man- part actually means hand, and the rest is from dare, to give, so it’s “to give by hand”. I guess a command is given by hand?

Next we’re looking at edition, which yes, really is related. Edition showed up in the early fifteenth century—edit actually showed up much later, in 1791. Originally it meant a version or translation, and then in the mid sixteenth century it was publishing. The word comes from the French édition and classical Latin editionem, edition, from the verb edere, produce. The e- comes from ex-, out, and the rest is from dare. This means the word is to give out. Which… yeah, editions are given out.

Perdition showed up in the mid fourteenth century in a theological sense, and then in a general sense a little after. It’s from the Old French perdicion and Late Latin perditionem, ruin or destruction. In classical Latin, it’s the verb perdere, to destroy or waste or lose, with the per- meaning through and the rest from dare. To give through means destruction? That doesn’t really make sense. I’d like to know what the Romans were thinking with that one.


Tuesday, June 30, 2020

From The Spamfiles

Ah, how I love it when there’s a bonus Tuesday and I don’t have to do any introspection for another week.

Spam, yo.

I didn’t bother looking at the rest of this, so I’m not sure if it’s a “I need your help getting my money from my wicked stepmother!” thing or a come on. But given the lack of disturbing emojis, I’m assuming it’s the former.

See, this one is obviously a come on.

I’m assuming this one is too. I’m really kind of afraid of what “Those” are that she’s referring to.

What happens if I don’t confirm my subscription? Do I not get the spam you want to send me? Because I got to say. That’s seeming like a good thing.

They… they abbreviated “in”. WHAT KIND OF MONSTER ARE YOU???

I love how random and contradictory everything is. First, am I from “Old School”? Like, what even is that? Then at the end, they’re going “I have absolutely no idea who you are.” Not even sure what they’re trying for there. And finally the fact that the message begins with an offer to stop receiving these messages/opt out, because that’s something people have in perfectly normal emails.

Saturday, June 27, 2020


Where did they go?
I don’t know what happened to them. How could something so good be taken off the market???

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Language of Confusion: Do-, Part I

Yes, another multi-parter! I love not having to come up with new ideas.

Now, I did do a while ago. But there’s also a prefix do-, coming from the Proto Indo European do-, meaning to give, that shows up in a ton of things. And that’s what we’re looking at. First, some words that actually have do- in them.

First, donor showed up in the mid fifteenth century, coming from the Anglo French donour and Old French donour. Those are from the classical Latin donatorem, which just means donor, from the verb donare, which is just donate or endow, and that is from the abovementioned do-. Donation’s origin is pretty similar, also showing up in the mid fifteenth century, although back then it was spelled donacioun because apparently people back then thought the T making a “sh” sound was stupid. It comes from the Old French donacion and classical Latin donationem, also from donare. But amusingly enough, donate actually didn’t show up until 1819, where it was formed from donation. I guess people didn’t donate back then, only endow.

And speaking of endow, it’s also from do-. Which makes sense, since do- means give. Endow showed up in the late fourteenth century as indowen, from the Anglo French endover, a mix of en- (in) and the Old French douer, endow. So it’s en-endow, I guess. Anyway, it’s from the classical Latin dotare, which like donare also just means endow. Yes, the Romans had two words for it. Dotare is also related to dos, which means dowry, and yes, that’s where dowry comes from. That word actually showed up in the fifteenth century in English, from the Anglo French dowarie and Old French doaire, then before that the Medieval Latin dotarium and then dotare.

Next, dose. It showed up in the early fifteenth century from the Old French dose and Medieval Latin dosis. That’s from the Greek dosis, a dose of medicine, from the verb didonai, to give, and that’s the one descended from do-. Wow, these words are making sense!

Speaking of medicine, antidote is also from do-. It showed up in the early fifteenth century, from the Middle French antidote and classical Latin antidote, which meant a remedy for poison. That’s also from Greek, from antidoton, antidote, and that one is from the verb antididonai, to give an antidote. And as you’ll notice, didonai is in there, too. The anti- means against, and since we already learned that didonai means to give, the word is to give against. In this case, against poison.

One more today, and this one is probably going to seem strange at first. Anecdote showed up in the late seventeenth century, from the French anecdote, meaning… anecdote. It’s from the Medieval Latin anecdota, from the Greek anekdotos, anecdote. The an- means not here, and the rest is ekdotos, which basically means published, so an anecdote is unpublished. The ek- in ekdotos means ex, out, and the dotos is from didonai. An anecdote is literally “to not give out”. I mean… I kind of get it, but not really.


Tuesday, June 23, 2020

From The Spamfiles

Frankly, they could have gone with “majestits” and I’m disappointed they didn’t. It was right there. Low hanging fruit.

Literally everything here is easily confirmed by a google search. There’s also one tiny little detail they got wrong: he’s a Major. He was a Captain when he received the Medal of Honor, but has since been promoted and moved to a different station. You’d think the spammers would read beyond the second paragraph on his Wikipedia page.

I’m… not really sure what this one is trying to say. Presenting the metal insets to Little Bee???

My compensational settlement! From Director UBA Bank!

Not just new, new new.

The hearts and—what are those? Sirens?—in a message about HD TV is rather concerning in a way I can’t quantify.

You wouldn’t think spaces would be that difficult to use, but then here we are.

Saturday, June 20, 2020


This is my life.
Do you think his tiny brain learned that lesson after the second incident (where he had to be coaxed into jumping down himself from a low spot on the roof)?

Well, look at this picture that was sent to me yesterday and see for yourself:

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Language of Confusion: Jointed

Hey, more body parts. It’s been quite a long time since I looked at any of these.

Knee comes from the Old English cneo, which was indeed pronounced with a hard K. All the words with the silent K used to have it pronounced, but basically, people got lazy and didn’t want to say it. It’s from the Proto Germanic knewa-, which is from the Proto Indo European genu-, which means knee or angle—it’s actually the origin of the -gon prefix you see at the end of shapes like hexagon! Because knees are at angles! It actually makes sense! More so than the pronunciation going from G to K to N. Although I suppose I kind of see it.

Continuing with the kn- trend, knuckle showed up in the mid fourteenth century as knokel as the noun referring to the body part, while the verb of it didn’t show up until the mid eighteenth century. Knokel did refer to the finger joint, but it also referred to any joint in the body, or even a lump or swelling. As for where it came from… ¯\_()_/¯ There is no Old English version of it, although some Germanic languages have similar words, like German having knöchel, meaning ankle. Apparently it literally means “little bone” and comes from the Proto Germanic knuk-, bone. It seems Modern English took it straight from the German without it going through Old or Middle English. How weird.

And speaking of ankle, it showed up in the fourteenth century, sometimes spelled with a C instead of a K, coming from the Old English ancleow, which also is just ankle. Remember how knee comes from the word for angle? Yeah, ankle does too, kind of. It’s from the Proto Indo European ang-/ank-, which means to bend, and is the origin word for angle. An ankle is also an angle!

Elbow showed up in the thirteenth century as a contraction of the Old English word elnboga, which meant elbow, and is such a funny sounding word that I’m disappointed we don’t use it anymore. It’s from the Proto Germanic elino-bugon, a mix of the Proto Indo European word el-, the word for elbow or forearm, and bheug-, to bend. That’s actually the origin word for bow as well. Um, both bows, like you do with your body and like you shoot arrows with. Anyway, elbow literally means arm bend.

Finally today, hip. And the part of your body is not related to hip as in cool or the exclamation (hip-hip-hooray!), which are from apparently different versions of the word hep. It’s also not related to the word for seed pods. The joint is from the Old English hype, which means hip, although I’m not sure on the pronunciation. That’s from the Proto Germanic hupiz, and no one’s sure where that word comes from. But it’s definitely not the other hips.

Tony Jebson’s page on the Origins of Old English

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

From The Spamfiles

Okay, as someone who doesn’t own a car… Do you have to check to see if a vehicle is taxed at any point? I know people have to pay taxes on their cars, I’m just not sure why you’d have to check to see if it was taxed, because obviously it would be. I’m just wondering if I’m misunderstanding something here. Also I am definitely thinking way too hard about this. It’s a frigging spam message. Get it together. You have more important things to worry about.

I can say with 100% certainty that I have never signed up for “Adult SexMeet” as “terrysmurphy02”. Nor do I know anyone named “Terry” or “Murphy” (or “Smurphy” for that matter).

It’s actually pretty easy to find out who’s emailing you. You just look at who sent it.

Do you… not know how spaces work?

Getting a random email from an “Assistance General Manager” at an airport I’ve never been to. Totally nothing suspicious about that.

The Federal Reserve Bank of Your Urgent Response Is Needed! Located in United State CA. I have several friends in United State CA.

Saturday, June 13, 2020

I Tried To Warn You

Pretty much a sequel to this comic.
You can only keep up the willful ignorance for so long, and then the horribleness hits you. And that’s why you have the protective blanket cocoon.

Thursday, June 11, 2020

Language Of Confusion: Talking

I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to look at this word.

Talk showed up in the thirteenth century as a verb, and then in the fifteenth century as a noun. It’s actually thought to be from the Middle English tale, which… yeah. It’s just tale. The K at the end is actually a rare word forming element, though it has shown up in words like hark, which is from hear. I just thought that was a neat factoid.

As for tale, it comes from the Old English talu, which just means tale. It’s from the Proto Germanic talo, and can be traced to the Proto Indo European del-, to recount or count. That’s actually the origin word for tell as well, which comes from the Old English tellan, which could mean to tell but also to count. That word is from the Proto Germanic taljan, which is also from del-. And that whole count business is actually why a bank teller is a teller. Teller showed up in the late fifteenth century meaning a person who keeps accounts, and it’s almost the only way tell is used in the count meaning. But there is another. Have you ever wondered why you “tell” time? Well, it’s because you’re counting time.

That’s really it for this week. I guess it’s was a short one. Talk/tell was surprisingly self-contained.

Tony Jebson’s page on the Origins of Old English

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

From The Spamfiles

Honestly, I’m so looking forward to these posts because of how quick and mindless they are.

I feel… vaguely uneasy about this.

I love the spam about getting rid of spam. It’s so meta! And full of computer viruses that will steal your financial information!

Yes that’s definitely Emily’s perfectly legitimate email address and not a string of random letters at all.

Oh, hey, the Love Swans are back. Someone should tell them to spring for color emojis. The black and white looks cheap.

See? Julia has color emojis. She obviously put some effort into this.

When society eventually collapses I don’t think gold and silver are going to be worth much. You should be investing in water filters and freeze dried food.

Saturday, June 6, 2020

Spaced Out

Did you Blogger users notice it had a new interface to use?
Seriously, it was bad enough that it replaces all the words—stuff like “New Post”—with symbols—a giant +, like it’s so obvious that means the same thing. Heaven forbid we use words to name things, like they were invented for!

But the giant spaces it adds between lines are intolerable! The gaps are HUGE! Like, borderline unreadable. And there was no way to fix it (these huge gaps were there when you used single spacing, go to double space and it was even more insane). I had to switch back to even write my posts. Ugh. What the hell were they thinking?

Thursday, June 4, 2020

Language of Confusion: The Happening

Happen showed up in the late fourteenth century as happenen, from hap, a word that was much more common then and way less common now. Hap showed up in the thirteenth century, meaning chance, or someone’s fortune or fate—happen originally meant something like “to have the fortune to occur”, and then it morphed into just meaning something that occurs, with no good or bad fortune required. Fun fact, before people used happen, Old English used the word gelimpan and Middle English just used befall. As for hap’s origin, it comes from the Old Norse happ and Proto Germanic hap-, from the Proto Indo European kob-, to fit or to succeed. Yeah, there used to be a K there. I guess good luck can help you succeed.

Now, there are several other words with hap in them, some more WTF than others. Mishap, which showed up in the mid thirteenth century, for example. It means bad luck, so with hap meaning good luck (and mis- literally meaning bad). There’s also hapless, which kind of means the same thing. It showed up a bit later than mishap, in the fifteenth century, and the -less means that it’s without good luck. Not sure why they felt they had to distinguish the two, but I guess it was important.

Perhaps showed up in the late fifteenth century as perhappes, though perhap, no S, showed up in the mid fourteenth century. The per means through, and with hap meaning chance, it was saying perchance. But, you know, instead of actually saying perchance. There’s also haphazard, which is a fairly late word, having shown up in the late seventeenth century. It’s just hap (chance) and hazard (danger). There’s a chance of danger. Wow. This makes way too much sense.

And there’s one more word we’re going to look at today. One I’ve actually looked at before, about four years ago. I actually mentioned it being related to happen back then, but never followed up on that. Until now! And that word, of course, is happy. It showed up in the late fourteenth century meaning lucky, and I guess it’s because lucky people are happy? I don’t know, but apparently words that mean happy once having meant lucky is common in several other languages. In any case, the -y means “full of or characterized by”, so with chance (as in, good luck), happy is lucky.

Tony Jebson’s page on the Origins of Old English
Old English-English Dictionary

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

June Goals

Well, May felt shorter than April, but not by much. Still felt a few years long. I know I was supposed to do something last month but I can’t remember what…

May Goals
1. Get to 50K on the new WIP. Since I’m already at 10K and I just started a week ago, this shouldn’t be a problem.
Yeah, this was easy. I’m almost at 60K. So yeah. Pretty successful.

2. If I have the time, keep working on my old projects that I really shouldn’t abandon.
Was not successful here. I know I should, I just had no energy to work on anything else.

3. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA. This really isn’t a goal. Just something I needed to get out.

Honestly, it was a pretty good month. In spite of, you know, everything.

June Goals
1. Finish new WIP. Not thinking this will be any problem.

2. Actually work on one of my old projects this month! The exclamation point means I’m serious!

3. Update the etymology page. I keep forgetting to do this!

It’s June, and summer is due to start here (and feels like it already has). What are you doing this month?

Saturday, May 30, 2020

Coffee Table

More adventures of “My Mom Actually Did This”.
This is like eighty percent of my interactions with her.

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Language Of Confusion: Fish, Part III

This should be the last part. Unless I find some that I missed.

Eel comes from the Old English ael, which is just eel, not surprisingly. It comes from the Proto Germanic aelaz, but no one knows where it came from before that as there are no similar words in non-Germanic languages. It’s still more of an explanation than we’ve had for some of these words.

Carp—as in the fish, not like you’d carp about something orally, which is not related—showed up in the late fourteenth century from the Old French carpe and Vulgar Latin carpa. That’s actually thought to also be Germanic in origin, as there is a Gothic word, karpa, that’s a word for a fish. Pretty much the only thing they’re sure about is that it’s not related to the talk/speak version of the word.

Mackerel showed up in the fourteenth century from the Old French maquerel, yet another word with an unknown origin. Some people think that it’s from the classical Latin word macula, which means spot, because of the spots on the fish, but they aren’t sure, and weirdly enough there’s actually another Old French definition for maquerel where it means agent, broker, or pimp. That one might just be a homophone, but there’s also a theory that people named the fish because of its spawning habits or something.

Guppy is a relatively recent word, having shown up in 1918, when it became popular as an aquarium fish. It’s actually called that based off the man it was named for, Robert John Lechmere Guppy. So because that’s his name, that’s why we call it Guppy.

Now, perch has more than one definition, but a perch that something sits on or to perch on something is not related. The word for the fish first showed up in the fourteenth century as perche, from the Old French perche—and since a perch that something sits on is also spelled that way, the word confusion goes back at least that far. But that perch is from a Latin word for pole (pertica), while the fish is from the classical Latin perca, their word for the fish, and it’s not related to pertica in the slightest. It’s actually from the Greek perke, their word for perch, from perknos, spotted, from the Proto Indo European perk-, speckled or spotted. Definitely nothing to do with poles.

Tony Jebson’s page on the Origins of Old English

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

From The Spamfiles

It’s spam day!


What does “Lend Flare” even mean? Like, the lend part I get, it’s a loan, but flare??? Are the loans on fire????????

Ah, yes, Pornhub with a 0 instead of an o and two u’s. That’s the proper spelling. Anyone who says otherwise about this million dollar company everyone has heard of is a liar.


I shoved the gas credit card into the tank but it didn’t make the car go. Help.

International monetary! Get your international monetary here! You want international monetary, you’ll get no better deal!

Sometimes I just feel like being nonsensical back at the spam.

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Language Of Confusion: Fish, Part II

There are a lot of fish out there. I’m not even getting to all of them, just the ones I’ve heard of.

Shark showed up in the mid sixteenth century, but the first thing it says after that is it’s of “uncertain origin”. Apparently the word came about when a sixteenth century ship captain brought a shark back to London—go check out the link to the Etymology page and you’ll see an excerpt from a handbill where it’s referred to as a “sharke” in Olde English Speake. While shark as someone who preys on others is first noted at the very end of the sixteenth century, one theory is that it actually appeared first and then the fish was named so, while another theory is that it was taken from a Mayan word, xoc, which may have been their word for it. Now, sharks did have a name in English before then, but it was tiburon, from the Spanish word for shark, tiburón. And these days it’s also a town in California.

Trout comes from the Old English truht, which of course just means trout. It’s thought to be from the Old French truite and Late Latin tructa, which is then thought to be from the Greek word troktes, a word for a kind of fish. It’s actually from the word trogein, to gnaw or eat, and that can be traced to the Proto Indo European tro-, from tere-, to rub or turn. A word we’ve gone over before. Extensively.

I was going to look at angler here, but then I found out it’s just angle with an R at the end. How boring. So, pike. This one isn’t terribly strange either, but it’s still amusing. It showed up in the earlyfourteenth century, and it’s named for the polearm people use as weapons. See, the fish has a long, pointed jaw. It’s also influenced by the French word for pike, brochet. Yeah, nothing too crazy here.

Cod is fairly old, having shown up in the mid fourteenth century (it actually appeared as part of a last name a century before that), and is another one from an unknown origin. This one is kind of weird because there is another cod, and that’s part of cod piece, but there’s no known link between the words. That word is from the Old English codd, which meant bag or pouch (and yes, it referred to a certain part of the male anatomy), and while there have been weird etymology links before, that doesn’t seem to be where the fish came from.

Speaking of words that have more than one meaning and aren’t related at all, we have bass. The word for the fish showed up in the fifteenth century as a corruption of the Middle English baers. That’s from the Old English baers, a fish, from the Proto Germanic bars-, sharp and Proto Indo European bhar-, point or bristle. Apparently the fish’s dorsal fins look like bristles. And of course the musical bass is not related. That’s a whole other kettle of fish.

Ahem. So to speak.

Tony Jebson’s page on the Origins of Old English