Tuesday, January 28, 2020

From The Spamfiles

Yay! Something easy!

…She’s going to have a hard time finding it.

Apparently the three is only theoretical.

Sorry. I can’t be with anyone who uses 2 in place of two.

I mean. I’m pretty sure it’s a warranty on a home. It’s literally spelled out right there.

Once again, you can write a letter to unsubscribe from the internet spam. Because that’s perfectly logical!

Ooh. Shell group of company is hiring. Get in line! I saw it first!

Saturday, January 25, 2020


This is the kind of stuff I have to deal with on a regular basis with my mom.
Two weeks in a row she appears here. She’s just like that.

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Language of Confusion: One Good Turn, Part IV

And now the last part of this exhilarating series about how the word turn is related to some weird things.

First, let’s look at throw. It showed up in the fourteenth century from the Old English þrawan, which means twist, turn, or writhe, so at least it’s relation to turn makes sense. As to why it came to mean throw (the Old English word for throw was actually weorpan, the origin of warp), well, one theory is that it’s in the sense that something you throw can turn in the air. Anyway, it’s from the Proto Germanic threw-, which is then from the Proto Indo European tere-, to rub or turn.

Thread comes from the Old English þraed, which just means thread, from the Proto Germanic thredu-, twisted yarn. Twist—like a turn. So because thread it twisted, it is from the same origin as turn.

Continuing with the th words, thresh. It comes from the Old English þrescan, which is just to thresh, from the Proto Germanic threskan, also just to thresh, and that one can be traced to tere-. Uh, I guess threshing involves rubbing or turning? I really don’t know what it is. I’ve never threshed before. Unsurprisingly, thresh is the origin of thrash as well, although it’s really never used as a version of thresh anymore. Unlike all the other words here, there’s a time of origin for thrash, as it was a dialect variant that appeared sometime in the late sixteenth century. It definitely went on a much weirder journey than thresh. In the early seventeenth century, it started to mean to beat someone (with a flail), and then in the mid nineteenth century it also came to mean to make wild movements (like a flail). So that’s how we got that.

And there’s also threshold, which has quite a different meaning. It comes from the Old English þrescold, which is how they used to say threshold. Apparently, since thresh had a sense of being trampled on, and yeah, that’s what you do to a threshold. The hold part is trickier. It’s not thought to actually be related to hold, and hey, in Old English it had a C in there. It’s likely from something else, but no one actually knows what.

Tony Jebson’s page on the Origins of Old English

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

From The Spamfiles

It’s been too long since I’ve done this. I’ve missed having an easy filler post to throw up because I have no original ideas.

She wanta your Numbe

I assume they mean that it’s socially negative, but in all honesty, when I first saw this I was thinking it was like a negative number in math and like, “So one item has been taken away?”

“You don’t have to be alone” sounds more like a threat to me.

Warning, adult material like flames and underscores.

…Oaflath? Is that supposed to be a word? Or a name? Or do you just have something caught in your throat?

Yes, I’m sure my several years old joke about spam bingo is super useful to you.

Saturday, January 18, 2020

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Language of Confusion: One Good Turn, Part III

Just a couple more weeks of this. Then I have to start coming up with etymology ideas again. Hm… could be a problem…

Anyway! Back to words that are related to turn—or rather, descended from the Proto Indo European word for turn, tere-, which is actually to turn or to rub, because words.

The first word we’re looking at this week is contour, which we probably should have looked at when we did tour, but whatever, might as well do it now. It first showed up in the mid seventeenth century as a term in painting and sculpture, where it meant the outline of a figure. Although amusingly enough, in the fifteenth century, contour referred to a quilt or bedspread falling over the sides of a mattress, and it wasn’t until the mid eighteenth century that it referred to a contour on a map. Contour itself comes from the French word contour, which is from the Italian contornare, to border, which itself is from the Medieval Latin contornare (yeah, same spelling), to go around. It’s a mix of the prefix com-, probably just an intensive here, and tornare, to turn on a lathe. And that’s from tere-. So a contour is… just really turning something?

Next today, we’re looking at diatribe, which is in no way related to tribe so don’t bother asking. It showed up as an English word in the mid seventeenth century, although people were using the Latin version of the word from the late sixteenth century. It’s original meaning was a continued discourse or critical dissertation, so I’m guessing it was used in a college setting, which would be why it spent several decades only being used in Latin. It’s related to the French diatribe, which is just diatribe, and from the Latin diatriba, a lecture. Like many Latin words, it was taken from Greek, which meant things like employment or study, or discourse, or a literal wasting away of time. The dia- means away, and tribein, which means scrub, erode, or wear—you know, like you’d do by rubbing. And that’s why it’s from tere-. Rubbing wears something away. Because of that, we have diatribe.

Also not related to tribe is tribulation. It showed up in the thirteenth century from the Old French tribulacion and the Church Latin tribulationem, distress or affliction. Of course it would be a church word. The verb of it is tribulare, to oppress or afflict, which was taken from the classical Latin version of the word, which literally meant to press. It’s from the verb terere, to rub or erode or waste, and of course that’s just tere- with an extra -re on it.

Finally today: trauma. Yeah, I was surprised to hear that it’s related, too. It showed up in the late seventeenth century meaning a physical wound. It was taken from the Latin trauma, which was taken from the Greek trauma, a wound or defeat. That’s actually from the Proto Indo European word trau-, which is just another form of tere-.You might be wondering how rubbing and turning relates to wounds, well, it’s thought to be in a sense of twisting and piercing. Doing that to someone would definitely make a wound.


Tuesday, January 14, 2020

January Goals

About time we’ve gotten to this. The month is only almost half over. I can’t even remember what I was supposed to be doing last month.

December Goals
1. Get WIP-1 out to beta readers (any volunteers?) and actually work on the synopsis and stuff.
I did a little work on these, but definitely not enough. It was a stressful month.

2. Edit WIP-2. Man, I can’t believe this sounds like the easier goal.
This is another one that I did do SOME work on, but definitely not enough. Ugh.

3. Christmas! New Years! Please let it be a nice break!
If stress could be bottled and injected into someone’s blood stream, that’s what the end of the year was like for me. And the beginning of this one.

It was really a tough month, and so far, January has been equally as hard. And there’s still so much to go.

January Goals
1. Write the short story I have planned, and edit one of my old ones.

2. Figure out what to do about my query/synopsis/log line. I want to make them good, obviously. I just don't know how to do that.

3. Work on daily goal planning for my writing.

Is it possible for people to hibernate? Because I’d really like to do that about now. What about you? What are you up to this month?