Saturday, May 28, 2022

Being Right

I love it when crap lines up like this.
If my mom kept her phone with her, it would also be a lot easier to track her down when she disappears on me, which she does frequently when we’re out shopping together.

Thursday, May 26, 2022

Language Of Confusion: Extreme Junction, Part IV

The last one! As usual for the finales of multi-parters, I’ve saved the weirdest for last. These words might not seem like they’re descended from the Proto Indo European yeug-to join. But they are.
First today, adjust. Yes, adjust is from join, but no, just is not, the two words aren’t related at all. Adjust showed up in the late fourteenth century meaning to correct or remedy, while meaning to adjust something to conform didn’t show up until the mid seventeenth century, and a person becoming adjusted to something wasn’t until 1924! Adjust comes from the Old French adjuster/ajoster, from the Late Latin adiuxtare, to bring near. The ad- is from ad, to, and the rest is from the classical Latin iuxta, which could mean near, or according to, and is from yeug-. Just on the other hand comes from iustus, from the Proto Indo European root yewes-, law. In other words, they’re totally not related. What a difference an X makes. It’s easier to see in the word juxtapose, which showed up in 1826, with juxtaposition actually showing up in the mid seventeenth century. The word is basically juxta- + position, so to be in a position near to something.
Next, another word that’s not related to just (but is to adjust): joust. It showed up in the fourteenth century meaning what you’d expect, to fight on horseback. It’s from the Old French joster/joste, which is from the Latin iuxtare, to be next to, which is unsurprisingly from iuxta. As to how being next to got to mean hitting someone with a lance, well, let’s look at the word jostle. It showed up in the mid sixteenth century meaning to knock against (like you would during a joust!), and it’s really just joust with an -el at the end. Being near someone to bumping into them, to hitting them in the face with a lance. Makes perfect sense!
Now, almost all English words are Proto Indo European, with emphasis on the European part. The word yoga on the other hand is obviously Indian—Hindi, specifically. It showed up in English in 1820, while yogi actually showed up earlier in the early seventeenth century. Those just copy the Hindi words, which are from the Sanskrit yoga-s, which means union or yoking—with the Supreme Spirit—and from yeug-. Basically, yoga is yoking your spirit to a higher power. And now it’s something white yuppies do to pretend they’re spiritual.
The final word we’re going to look at is zygote, which, yes, is somehow related to yeug-. It showed up in 1878 from a German scientist, for no reason I can figure. The word—though not the definition—is related to the zygomatic bone in your face, the name of which showed up almost two hundred years earlier in 1709, from the word zygoma, which showed up in the late seventeenth century, called that because it joins the bones of your face together. Back to zygote, that word is from the Greek zygotos, zygote, and also things like yoke and weighing scales. And zygotos just happens to come from yeug-. No I can’t figure out how they got a clump of cells from that either.
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
Encyclopaedia Britannica
Orbis Latinus

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

From The Spamfiles

This week is for the questions spam makes me ask myself.

I… don’t really know what I’m looking at here. Stealth attraction definitely doesn’t seem like a thing, and in fact seems creepy, and also, why are they sending it to ME?

Where do you find people to invest your money with if not by random emails?

Really, the email address is ninety percent random letters and numbers, and the person is named Helga for crying out loud. Does this actually work on people???

It wouldn’t be a spam post without a cancer stricken person trying to get me to give their money to charity. Have they never heard of lawyers?

Another person wanting to write a guest post for my blog despite me not knowing them. Frankly, I’m suspicious of anyone who calls me a “thought-leader”. What even is that?

Saturday, May 21, 2022


I swear this is how it works.

No, I don’t know who switches the dial. I just know this is how it happens every year.

Thursday, May 19, 2022

Language Of Confusion: Extreme Junction, Part III

Lots more words related to the Proto Indo European yeug-to join. These ones… get a little more abstract.

First today, yoke, a word that actually kept the Y all these J words are supposed to have. It comes from the Old English geoc, yoke, which in spite of having a G, was pronounced something like yoke. It’s from the Proto Germanic yukam, which is from yeug-, so I guess it kept the Y sound because it’s Germanic instead of Latin.
Next, a word that gets weirder the more you think about it: jugular. It showed up in the late sixteenth century, referring to the veins in the neck before being specifically used as the name of one. It comes from the Latin jugularis, from the classical Latin iugulum, throat. That’s actually from iugum, yoke (though not related to the English yoke, of course). But it does make sense since the neck is the place where the head joins the body…
Another word with “jug” in it, subjugate, showed up in the early fifteenth century—subjugation actually showed up earlier, in the late fourteenth century. In any case, both words can be traced to the classical Latin subiugare, to subjugate, with sub- meaning under and the rest being from iugum. Well, you’re definitely subjugated if someone has your neck in a yoke.
But what about conjugate, which has to do with grammar and not necks? It showed up in the early sixteenth century, coming from the classical Latin coniugatus, which means—and I’m not making this up—a married man. The verb it’s from, coniugare, means to mate/marry or more literally, to yoke together. Guess we know what these people thought about marriage. See, the com- means together, and the rest is from iugum, and because verbs are “conjugated” by “joining together” parts of the verb with different roots (for example, the past tense of conjugate is the verb + -ed), it became a grammatical term. Conjugal is actually a much more literal use of the verb, though it actually showed up decades after conjugate.
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
Tony Jebson’s page on the Origins of Old English
Old English-English Dictionary

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

From The Spamfiles

It’s the best part of the week! I know you’re excited!

“We’ve never met before. How about a business deal involving lots of money?”

Oh no! Anamul tried to sign into the Facebook account I don’t have!!! Whatever will I do?

First I miss out on that business deal, then my account gets hacked, now my delivery I didn’t order failed! This just isn’t my week.

Wait a minute, someone dying of cancer is emailing me… and they’re a man??? Something about this just doesn’t add up.

I really don’t think a traveling notary service is going to get a lot of customers by spamming comments on a random blog post. A random blog post about spam, I might add.

Saturday, May 14, 2022


They’re replacing some of the water pipes around where I live. Directly around.

It’s a busy road so I get not wanting to do it during high traffic times, but ten thirty on a Sunday night? Come on! The worst part? They were back three days later!!!