Tuesday, July 16, 2024

From The Spamfiles

I love these posts. They’re so easy. Spam is one item always in abundance.

Message from Meta, saying Facebook: Please verify your account. We’ve noticed some unusual activity! - 9932
It’s spam, but probably doesn’t steal as much personal information as Meta does.

Message from Amazon ID, saying Suspend, followed by a series of letters and numbers, then in the actual message is even more random letters and numbers
I guess they’re trying to tell me my account is suspended? It’s hard to tell since most of it is just random letters. If you’re going to spam, at least make it clear.

Message from mizmos251 at mizmos dot com, no subject, and then a ten digit number in the message body
Mizmos! It’s just fun to say.

Message form Malik SEO with a Guest Post Proposal, saying I hope this email finds you well. I am reaching out to inquire about the possibility…
I am immediately suspicious of any one wanting to put a guest post on my blog. I have like three followers. Clearly they don’t know what they’re doing.
Message from a random number saying Free Msg: Since this unusual purchase is large we have blocked the transaction. If not verified visit… then a shortened link
Free MSG! Get your free MSG here!

Thursday, July 11, 2024

Language Of Confusion: Wait, Part I

What am I, a waiter?

Anyway, wait showed up in the thirteenth century meaning to watch for with hostile intent—like lay in wait. It wasn’t until the late fourteenth century that it meant to stay in a place, see to it that something occurs, or to attend to, and from that last meaning, it start to mean to wait tables in the mid sixteenth century. It comes from the Anglo French/Old North French watier, to watch, from the Frankish wahton, Proto Germanic what-, and all the way back to the Proto Indo European weg-, to be strong or lively. Which I guess you need to be if you’re laying in wait for someone.
A lot of other words related to watchfulness come from weg-. You know, like watch. That actually comes from the Old English waecce, watch, and waeccan, to keep watch, and that’s from the Proto Germanic wakjan, which is also from weg-. Who would have thought, watch and wait?
Also unsurprisingly related is wake—but only the waking up one, the one related to boats is not from the same origin. Wake is actually from the Old English words wacan, to awake, and wacian, to be awake (I guess those things used to be separate), and like watch is from wakjan, wake is from the Proto Germanic wakjanan. Weird that they took on such different sounds.
Let’s see what Latin has done to the word. Vigil is also related, having shown up in the thirteenth century meaning the eve of a religious festival—or keeping watch on a festival eve—not coming to mean keeping awake on purpose until 1711. It’s from the Anglo French/Old French vigile, from the classical Latin vigilia (watch), and finally weg-. There’s also vigor, which showed up in the fourteenth century from the Anglo French vigour and Old French vigor, which are from the Latin vigorem, strength. So Latin makes it so we turned the W into a V. Sure.
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
Fordham University

Tuesday, July 9, 2024

One Fourth

You either get the reference or you don’t.
Panel 1, I’m with my mom, measuring a door with a tape measure, and she says, “This door’s been broken for years. About time I replaced it.” “Okay, it’s seventy six plus three eighths inches long.” Panel 2, I’m still measuring and I say, “No, wait. It’s seventy six and a fourth.” Panel 3, I’m still measuring, I say, “Okay, I was wrong. Seventy six and an eighth.” Panel 4, standing up now, I say, “We may have a House Of Leaves situation going on here.” She says, “I didn’t read that book, I don’t get the reference, but we do not.”
Granted, it’s better than being bigger on the inside than on the outside, but I still don’t know why it was different each time.

Thursday, July 4, 2024

Language Of Confusion: Knot

Inspired by last week, with knot somehow not being related to the Proto Indo European word for bind or tie. Knot actually comes from the Old English cnotta, intertwining of ropes or cords, and at its earliest is from the Proto Germanic knuttan-. You’d think that be related to last week’s ned-, especially since that’s where net is from, but there’s no evidence of that, and as we all know, words are stupid.
There actually aren’t any other words related to knot. It’s a total stand alone! But we can still find stuff to talk about. First of all, knot as a nautical measure of speed. That showed up in the mid seventeenth century, and is because of the log line of a sailing ship. A log is a measure of a ship’s progress, because a log, as in a piece of wood, was used on the log line. The log line was let out behind the ship, and it would pull out the rope at regular knotted intervals, and the faster it went, the more knots were pulled out—hence, knots per hour.
Still awfully short. How about we look at the Kn combination. Isn’t it weird? There’s just a K there, and we don’t even pronounce it. It showed up in Middle English as the spelling for a common Germanic sound combination—they actually say the K sound there, so in other Germanic languages, it’s k-nife and k-night, and in fact we used to say it, too, but stopped around the mid eighteenth century. In Old English, they used a C in place of the K (which is why it’s cnotta up there), but it was the same sound. Just another reason why the letter C is redundant.
Online Etymology Dictionary
University of Texas at Austin Linguistic Research Center
University of Texas at San Antonio’s page on Proto Indo European language
University of Texas at Arlington
Tony Jebson’s page on the Origins of Old English
Old English-English Dictionary

Tuesday, July 2, 2024

July Goals

Well, we’re officially halfway through the year. Anyone else distressed at how this could have happened? No? Just me then?
June Goals
1. Start posting the web serial again, and keep working on it.
This at least was easy.
2. Do something fun and distracting to recharge.
Meh, kind of. Could probably use more recharging. My battery is very bad at holding a charge.
3. Work on getting beta readers for my WIP. Opening up to people with my work is hard, and I need people I can trust. So yeah. This is quite a task.
I did manage to do this, though I’m still hoping to find more. The finding is the really tough part.
Remember when there were a ton of write-bloggers? There were awards and contests and online get-togethers. Hell, you could go on social media and meet other writers there. It was awesome. I miss those days.
July Goals
1. Work on notes from beta readers. It looks promising so far.
2. Find more beta readers and writer places. Please, just don’t make me have to go on Discord. Unfortunately it seems every other social media is dead now.
3. Sigh. Once again, update my etymology pages. I keep hoping they’ll update Blogger so it doesn’t suck any more, but fat chance of that happening when it took over a month for them to fix the problem with the links.
That’s what I want for this month, though who knows what will happen? What do you want to do this month? Where do you meet other writers?

Thursday, June 27, 2024

Language Of Confusion: Connection

Another single-parter. Shocking, I know.
Connect showed up in the mid fifteenth century, from the classical Latin conectere (I bet you can guess what that means). It’s actually a mix of the prefix com, together, and nectereto bind together. Or, you know, connect. Connecting is… connecting with. That nectere is from the Proto Indo European ned-, to bind or tie, and that one is part of quite a few words.
First of all, there’s annex, which showed up in the late fourteenth century from the Old French annexer, Medieval Latin annexare, and classical Latin annectere, to attach. The ad- means to, so with nectere, annex means to bind to. Nexus is also from that word, having shown up in the mid seventeenth century meaning a bond, the dependence between members of a group, or a means of communication. It’s directly from the classical Latin version of the word, which literally means connection and is the past participle of nectere. Because a nexus was a means of communication, it became known as the core or center of something.
Speaking of centers, node is also related. It showed up in the early fifteenth century meaning a knot or lump, then a point of intersection specifically in astronomy before it came into more general use. Anyway, it’s from the classical Latin nodus, knot, which is also from ned-. Nodule is from almost the same place, though it’s older, having shown up in the fifteenth century. It’s from the classical Latin nodulus, nodule, a diminutive of nodus.
Also related is the word net, but not as in net profit, only like netting. It’s from the Old English net and Proto Germanic natjo-, and it’s thought to be something knotted, and so from ned-. It’s probably in the same vein that noose is related. That word showed up in the mid fifteenth century, and it’s thought to be from the Old Provençal nous, or knot, which is from ned-. I mean, nooses are knotted. With all these knots showing up, you’d think knot would be related, but for the record, no, it’s not.
And now for the denouement. Literally. That word is related. It showed up in the mid eighteenth century from the French dénouement, which is from the verb dénouer, meaning… untie. Because a denouement is the solution of a mystery or winding up of a plot—or an untying. It’s a mix of the prefix dis-, un or out and nouer, to tie, which is from ned-. And I have to admit, that one makes sense.
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
Dictionary of Medieval Latin

Tuesday, June 25, 2024

First Steps

The actual story of my nephew’s first steps. The boy loves his snacks.
Panel 1, my nephew is on the ground and his mom says, “No, no more snacks, it’s almost dinner time.” Panel 2, he starts getting to his feet, Panel 3, he stands there while his mother stares in shock, Panel 4, he walks away to her increasing surprise
He was something of a late walker, since he didn’t start until sixteen months old, and his parents kept trying to encourage him to no avail. Apparently all they had to do was tell him no snacks so he’d leave in a huff.