Saturday, October 17, 2020

Dimension X

Not really a spooky comic. Unless you count the apparent existence of the Twilight Zone.

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Language Of Confusion: Delete, Part II

More words about getting rid of something! I wonder if they’ll be as crazy as last week.
Cancel showed up in the late fourteenth century, literally meaning to cross out something written with lines, generally to deface something. In other words, it meant strikethrough text. It comes from the Anglo French/Old French canceler, from the classical Latin cancellare, which literally meant to make like a lattice. Apparently it was Late Latin who started using it to mean cross out (with lines) something written. It’s related to the words cancelli, which means lines or lattice, which is from cancer, which means crossed bars or lattice and is not related to cancer at all, just get that out of your head. It’s actually rated to carcer, prison, the origin word of incarceration. So the answer is yes, these words are as crazy as last week’s.
Next, expunge showed up in the seventeenth century from the classical Latin expungere, which means to repulse or blot out a name on a list—so again, words being crossed out. It has a kind of weird reasoning to it that sounds way dirtier than it actually is, so bear with me for a minute. Expungere literally means “to prick out”. Yeah. Ex- means out, while pungere means to prick, from the Proto Indo European peuk-, to prick. Since crossing out a name on a list involved blotting (or, sigh, pricking) out the name with a pen nib, we have expunge. Which you will never be able to look at again without thinking of the word prick. You’re welcome.
Purge showed up in the fourteenth century meaning to clear of a charge or suspicion, and then later on to cleanse or purify. It’s from the Anglo French purger, Old French purgier, and classical Latin purgare, to cleanse or clear. It’s actually from the Latin word purus, pure, yes, the origin of pure, as well as the word agree, to set in motion, do, or perform, a word that can be traced to the Proto Indo European ag-. To purge something is to get rid of it, in an act of cleansing.
Finally, abolish showed up in the mid fifteenth century from the Old French noun aboliss, from the verb abolir, to abolish. It’s from the classical Latin abolere, to abolish, so we’re not seeing any major changes here. It’s a mix of ab, away from, and part of adolere, to magnify or grow. Abolish was made to be the opposite of adolere, so instead of growing something, it was getting rid of it.
Online Etymology Dictionary
Google Translate
University of Texas at Austin Linguistic Research Center
University of Texas at San Antonio’s page on Proto Indo European language
Fordham University
Orbis Latinus

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

From The Spamfiles

Okay, of all the things to capitalize, why each and only each?

Everything about this one feels unsettling in a way I can’t quantify. The name “lilwickdon”, the droplets emoji, the awkward phrasing of “married happily ever after”. It’s just off. Like looking at a completely realistic human doll. It might look human, but it’s not, and you can tell.

Not Jasmine but Jasmine!! She’s extra excited about her name!

Uh oh. I seem to have misplaced my wife. Maybe if I shake the food bag, she’ll come running. Or is that cats? I might be thinking of cats.

How do you shave like a million bucks? Money doesn’t shave. It’s not even associated with shaving. Seriously, who wrote this advertising copy? Because they aren’t good at their job.

That’s just like the United Nations to give out fund payments from a Nigerian bank. They do that, like, all the time.

Saturday, October 10, 2020

Thursday, October 8, 2020

Language Of Confusion: Deleted, Part I

There’s a surprising number of words that mean getting rid of something. Might as well look at them now!

Delete itself showed up in the early sixteenth century from the classical Latin deletus, which means extinction or annihilation. That’s the past participle of the verb delere, which is just to delete, which itself is from delinere, to smudge—to delete was to erase by smudging something. Delinere is a mix of the prefix de-, from or away, and linere, smear or wipe, so yeah. To wipe away is to erase. Somehow that’s from the Proto Indo European slei-, slime or sticky, seriously that’s where we get the word slime from. No, I don’t know how we get from slime to delete. That’s just how it is.
Now let’s look at erase. It showed up in the seventeenth century from the classical Latin erasus, from the verb eradere, erase or scrape off. The e- is from ex-, out [], and radere literally means to shave or scrape, so to erase is to scrape out. Some people think that radere is from the Proto Indo European root red-, to scrape, scratch, or gnaw, but, well, the fact that it would make sense is suspicious. Never trust making sense when it comes to etymology.
Case and point, eradicate. You’d think it would be related to erase, or at the very least rad-. Nope. Not one bit. Eradicate showed up in the early fifteenth century from the classical Latin eradicatus, from the verb eradicare, which means to destroy, uproot, or root out. The e- is from ex- again, though it means out here, and the rest is from radix, root. That one is from the Proto Indo European wrad-, branch or root and is actually the origin word for radish. So yes. Because you root something out, eradicate is more related to radish than erase.
Obliterate showed up in the seventeenth century from the classical Latin obliteratus, from obliterare, to obliterate, efface, or erase. No shocking revelations here. The ob- means against while the rest comes from litteraletter. Okay, may have spoken too soon about there not being any shocking revelations. Apparently there was a Latin phrase, literas scribere, which meant to write across letters—as in over them, striking them through. So because people had to strikethrough letters, we obliterate things.

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

October Goals

It’s October! While I usually love this month, well, it is 2020. Although I suppose I am living each day in growing terror as the election nears. That’s not really a fun terror, though.
Ugh, let’s focus on something less awful.
September Goals
1. Work on word usage. I overuse an embarrassing amount of words and phrases.
There are still a bunch left, but at least I did something.
2. Get WIP beta reader ready.
It’s pretty there. Probably as close as it’s going to get, anyway.
3. Look back on the last ten years because holy crap, that’s how long I’ve been blogging.
If it was any year but 2020, this probably would have been a lot more interesting to do.
And that’s that. I did a lot of what I set out to do, but could have done better. It was kind of a tiring month to exist in. So what should I do this month…
October Goals
1. Find some beta readers for my latest WIP. I hope some of my friends are still available.
2. Update my blog’s etymology page. I really should have done this last month!
3. Work on something. Anything.
Here’s hoping October is successful and not a nightmare reaching its pinnacle. What do you want to do this month?

Saturday, October 3, 2020

A Massacre, That’s What

I really wish I was making this up.
I suppose a cat could be involved, but it’s still weird that I keep finding more and more cricket bodies in one particular room. The current record is eight in one day. Ugh.