Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Reflections 2014

Wow. It’s almost the last day of 2014. Can you believe it went by so quickly? Now, what was it I wanted to accomplish this year…

Resolutions 2014
1. Get my newest book, REMEMBER, to the point where it can be beta read.
            It’s still pretty rough right now (the first draft still isn’t done), so it will take a lot of work to get it there.
I did not get it to beta read point, but I’m getting there—maybe another month or two. So, not bad.

2. Start working on a (gulp) query for COLLAPSE.
            I have a few rough copies, but I doubt any would entice readers. Ooh, this is the most terrifying goal.
I did do this, although not successfully…sigh…

3. Try to find some way to post my progress on my goals, both yearly and monthly.
            I’d like to see how I’m doing and whether I need to work harder.
Hey, I actually did something completely and correctly! Amazing!

4. Read more dystopian/apocalyptic/paranormal YA.
            For, you know, research. This is probably going to be an easy goal.
Of course. Still not enough, though ; ).

5. Think of ways to make my blog posts more interesting.
            And implement them. That last “Informal Poll” thing was a huge bust. I have some other ideas in mind, but who knows if they’ll be successful.
Whee! I did it! All because you guys are easily amused by stick figure comics.

6. Try to start a movement to simplify the English language.
            Seriously, is the letter C really necessary? And don’t say we need it for the “ch” sound. We can use Q for that and not for “kw”, which is weird anyway. Every other use of C can be replaced with K or S. I’m also not a fan of using G for the “juh” sound, but one thing at a time.
All you people complaining “We need C!” [grumble, grumble]

7. Get over my doubts about selling an apocalyptic story in a glutted YA market and just DO IT.
            I feel like this one is self-explanatory.
Sigh…no…not for lack of trying, though…

Not bad. I’m just disappointed that I didn’t succeed where it counted. Man, this post turned depressing. I’m going to go eat my weight in chocolate.

Saturday, December 27, 2014


More tales of me making the mistake to go shopping in a store instead of online.

Ninety percent of the time, I’m completely ignored. The other ten percent…

Seriously, I said I didn’t need help three times and he still wouldn’t go away. He was hovering over me like I was trying to steal something. You know what, annoying salespeople? Sometimes people are just oddly proportioned and don’t need to be stared at while they find something that fits!

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas!

Or whatever you celebrate. Although today is Christmas. So have a happy day no matter what.

You might think this is the same as Thanksgiving, but not so. We have candy instead of cookies on Christmas.

My blood is probably mostly sugar by now.

No regrets.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014


How lazy can I get this holiday season? How about reposting a stick figure comic from three years ago and pretending it’s a new post?

Honestly though, this is one of my favorites. And still applicable (although it’s a different orange cat this time).

It’s going to be filler on Thursday, but I’ll see if I can scrounge something up for Saturday. Happy holidays!

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Berserk Button

Everyone has a berserk button. This just happens to be mine.

Okay, one of mine.

They had it coming.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Language of Confusion: Animalia II

My last animal post was pretty well liked, so here’s another! This time we’re looking at small pet mammals.

Mouse comes from the Old English mus, which means small rodent…and “muscle of the arm” (no, I have no idea why). That word comes from the Proto Germanic mus and Proto Indo European mus…well, that’s surprisingly stable. There’s also mice, which comes from the Old English mys. The reason mice is the plural of mouse is because of I-mutation, which is what happened when a bunch of Old English words went from an A, O, or U sound to an E or I sound because of linguistic laziness. Plurals in Old English ended in iz, which means mus would have been something like musiz (I’m just guessing here, so don’t take this as fact). From there, it went to mis, keeping the consonants of the first syllable and the vowel of the second, and then it became mice.

Rat comes from the Old English raet. Before that? No one knows. But there are similar words in other languages—Italian has ratto, German has ratte and Latin has…rat. Hm. Not much of an origin story.

Hamster has an actual date attached to it, appearing in the early seventeenth century from the German hamster (eye roll), and before that it comes from the Middle High German hamastra. There are theories about the word hamster going further back, but nothing definite has popped up.

Guinea pig
So why are these cute little critters called guinea pigs? Well, there’s a lot of debate about that. The name first popped up in the mid seventeenth century. One theory is that they were named because they were first brought to Britain on ships called guineamen (which were popular slave ships…ugh). Theory two is that the country of Guinea in Africa was confused with the country of Guyana in South America (where guinea pigs are from).

Gerbil has an even more specific year, showing up in 1849. It comes from the French gerbille and classical Latin gerbillus, which is the name of the entire genus. Now, 1849 isn’t when the species suddenly popped into existence, so we called them something else before that. They were called jarbuah, which was taken directly from the Arabic word for them. I don’t know if gerbillus and jarbuah are related at all, but they are kind of similar. So…maybe?

Ferret first showed up in the late fourteenth century, making it the earliest word that we have a date for. It comes from the Old French furet, which was a diminutive of another word for weaselly animals, fuiron, which, as you may have read as a factoid at some point, also means thief. Before French, the word was furionem in Late Latin and fur (or thief) in classical Latin. It’s thought trace back to the Proto Indo European word bhor/bher, to carry, the origin word for words with the suffix -fer (which I did a post on way back when) as well as furtive.

Tony Jebson’s page on the Origins of Old English

Tuesday, December 16, 2014


Okay, this totally isn’t the color partition post. The title is a bit of a tease. Sorry, but I’ve been too busy doing the actual editing to write a post about it. Maybe next week. Oh, wait. That’s Christmas. Then there’s New Year’s. Hm. I guess you’re going to have to wait until 2015. I think you’ll survive.

So why is this post so titled? Well, it’s because I stumbled across a fun, addictive, as-complex-as-it-is-simple, game.

The object of this Chinese-born game is to find the one square that is colored differently from the others. For the first ten levels, it’s pretty easy to do. Then the grids get large and the colors vary so slightly that it’s nearly impossible. There are no penalties if you click the wrong square, but the entire thing is timed so you try to get through as many levels as possible in under sixty seconds. I’ve only been able to get up to level 27, and that was a lucky shot : ). Be careful. This is one of those things you do that you say to yourself, “Well, I’ll just do it one more time.” and then it’s 3 a.m. and you’ve given up pretending you’re not trying to find the end of an endless game.

The game is absolute genius. What level did you reach?

Saturday, December 13, 2014


Geez. You try to help some people out and they threaten to call the police because you’re “creating a disturbance”.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Language of Confusion: -Sult

This one’s about words that end in -sult. Yay?

Consult first showed up in the early sixteenth century, coming from the Middle French consulter and classical Latin consultare (consultation). It’s the frequentative (basically, the continuous noun version of a word, like wrestling from wrest) of consulere, which is just plain consult). In other words, consult comes from the word that means consultation. The prefix con- means with and the selere is take, which doesn’t seem like it fits. The reason consulere means consult is because of the Latin phrase consulere senatum, which meant “to gather the senate” for counsel. So we have consult because of a metaphor.

Result first showed up as a verb in the early fifteenth century and a noun two centuries later. It comes from the Medieval Latin resultare, to result. In classical Latin, resultare means either reverberate or spring forward—kind of weird change, right? Well, if you think about it figuratively, it kind of makes sense. A reverberation is a result, in a sense. Resultare comes from the words resiliens and resilere, which unsurprisingly are the origin word for resilience. The re- means back and -silire is from salire, jump or leap (and the origin word for salient). To sum up: results leap back at you.

Finally, there’s insult. It showed up as a verb in the mid sixteenth century and a noun in the early seventeenth, and at first it meant attack (as a noun) or triumph over in an arrogant way (as a verb). It comes from the classical Latin insultare, which means jump on, although it was used sometimes in the same way we use it. Insultare comes from the verb insilire, where the prefix in- means on (really) and the salire is leap or jump. The reason it means insult these days is because it went from literally jumping on to verbally doing so. I know, I’m surprised it makes sense, too.

TL;DR: Insult and result come from the word for jump. Consult comes from counsel and has nothing to do with either of the other -sult words because of course it doesn’t.


Tuesday, December 9, 2014

More from the Spamfiles

I’m sure you’re all looking forward to my post about editing using colors. Well, I was super busy last week and had very little editing time, so you’re getting stuck with a Spamfiles post. And you all better love it.

Okay, this one…for those who can’t see, the message preview shows that it says “Saturday morning charlie hung up her head”. How…how does one do that?

And this one is for burial insurance. As if! When I die, it’s going to be as inconvenient for my loved ones as possible. They know why.

I keep getting these long comments that have tons of links and random gibberish in another language that when translated, somehow makes even less sense. It says stuff like “read tracksuit ten Czechs” and it’s just like…so if you read a tracksuit is worth ten Czechs? How does one read a tracksuit anyway? There’s also things like “2 elves revolt maps”, “vampires snoopshop”, and “hysteria to sponsor Warsaw mermaid”. Why does a Polish mermaid need a sponsor and why hysteria!?

This might be my favorite. The Omega Scarf, the beginning and end of all scarfs, the culmination of eons of scarf evolution to make the One who shall rule over all.

Look at this. Just look at it. I’m always getting emails from Nigeria (or that’s where they say they’re from) about either A) some poor woman who needs to get money that her father left her that her stepmother/brothers are keeping from her; or B) a person who died abroad and so his money has to go to a random foreigner. But this…this one is from an FBI agent so annoyed with all the “stories” about Nigerian scams that he wants to reassure me that it’s legit. Now, the FBI has nothing to do with foreign governments or banks, so this agent is just…doing it in his spare time?

Oh, spammers. You so crazy.

Saturday, December 6, 2014


I’m really not a fan of shopping. I especially hate it when I’m looking at stuff and every three seconds a clerk is asking me if I need any help finding things, no I’m just browsing you can go away now.

Here is my experience in shopping for televisions, in a mix of comic and script form.
Salesman: I see you’re looking at televisions.

Me: Uh, wow, don’t know where you came from. Yes, I’ve been looking at Smart TVs.

Salesman: Then come with me!

And he took me away from the televisions, which was the first warning sign that he was not going to help me pick out a new TV. Shortly followed by the second.
Salesman: You have cable or dish?

Me: Uh, cable. What does that have to do with—

Salesman: How much do you pay a month?

Me: About a hundred and twenty—

Salesman: If you sign up for dish today, I can get you in for ninety six dollars.

Me: But I don’t want—

Salesman: That’s twenty four dollars less.

Me: I can do math, but—

Salesman: With HD. You can’t get a clearer picture without dish.

Me: I really don’t care about—

Salesman:  Dish is awesome. You can’t live without dish. Dish will grant all your wishes and let you live forever. Cable sucks. It doesn’t give you HD with a clear enough picture.

Me: My phone and internet is bundled with the cable and if I give it up the price—

Salesman: Dish is the answer to all of life’s problems. Need money, and dish will give it to you, along with being able to see the individual pores of every actor on television. Everyone wants to see that.

Me: From that pamphlet you gave me, I get way less channels unless I’m willing to pay more—

Salesman: But they’re all in HD. You know, every store uses dish because dish is so great. They wouldn’t use dish if it wasn’t great.

Me: Yeah, and they only play one channel. That’s a shining recommendation.

I couldn’t have been more clear about my disinterest if I hired a marching band to play “I don’t want Dish” while spelling out “Seriously, no dish”.

Salesman: So would you sign here and we can set up your installation?

Me: I don’t. Want. Dish. I’m leaving now.

Salesman: But if you go, there’s no guarantee I’ll be able to get you the same deal!

Me: You mean the deal for the dish I don’t want with less channels and an increase in my internet bill?

Salesman: Yes.

Me: That’s a shame.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Secret Origins: U

Getting close to the end now!

If you look at the alphabet gif, you’ll see that in early forms of Latin writing, the letter U looks surprisingly like Y and V. This is because before then, we didn’t have V as a sound, so our writing system ancestors Etruscan and Greek all have V and all pronounce it U (for the V sound, they used F because that’s how it used to be pronounced). Of course, before Greek, there’s Phoenician and Proto Sinaitic, neither of which have a U because they’re abjads and don’t use vowels.

TL;DR: (as if this could get any briefer) U looked like V, when it actually existed, because the V sound was just F.

I’m sure none of this will be repeated when I do the letter V {crosses fingers}.


And U

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

December Goals

This time of month again. And shockingly enough, I got something done!

November Goals
1. Do the frigging REMEMBER notes, dang it. The italics mean I’m serious.
Apparently, the italics do mean I’m serious because I totally got them done, with plenty of time to spare. Sure took long enough!

2. If I finish the notes, then I can get back to work on my other WIP. I should also make notes of the other idea that’s rolling around in my head before I forget it.
I did go back to the other WIP, but now I’m having doubts about its viability. Maybe I took too long a break. Either way, I’m putting it aside.

3. Maybe try to get another apocalypse post up. Remember those?
Eh, kind of. It wasn’t a true apocalypse post (my idea well for those has seemed to have gone dry) but I tried.

December Goals
1. Do my color partition for REMEMBER and solve any issues in regards to pacing. I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned this before as part of my editing routine. Maybe I’ll go into more detail later.

2. Do my sensory color partition for REMEMBER and solve any issues. Again, I should explain this sometime.

3. Christmas, yay!

Anyone else shocked it’s December already? And how are you recovering from NaNo?

Saturday, November 29, 2014

More Like Blackout Friday

Just a small comic today. Honestly, Im just glad that I don’t have anything to rant about.

Of course, this isn’t a very realistic view of me after Thanksgiving. I’d never leave any crumbs.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thanks A Lot

Because it’s a holiday (at least in my country) and I’m probably going to spend Saturday ranting about today, here’s a special stick figure comic.

The holidays: when all the good desserts come out of hiding. By me.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Tips for Surviving Thanksgiving

Or Thanksgivingocalypse. Because one of my monthly goals is to do another apocalypse post, and honestly, spending time with my family sure seems like an apocalyptic scenario. So I made a list of all the things I could do that would actually make for a Thanksgiving. You know, if anyone would actually do them.

How to Avoid the Thanksgivingocalypse
1. No alcohol. This isn’t a judgment against anyone who drinks. I’ve seen people out there who can handle a glass of wine without turning into a total a$$hole. And except for my mom, none of those people are in my family.

2. Avoid dangerous topics. You know, like politics and religion and who has to do the dishes. They only turn into screaming matches with things getting broken and people getting hurt.

3. If someone tells you to do something, do the exact opposite. For example, if someone tells you to play a tired, not-funny-ever prank on someone else, don’t frigging do it.

4. I can’t believe I have to say this, but no pot. Apparently, it never occurred to some people that it’s not okay to do something illegal in someone else’s house without their permission and while there are children in the next room.

5. Don’t lie to people about who’s coming so they show up only to find out there’s someone they don’t want to spend time with. Then don’t shame them for it.

I don’t know, maybe it’s just my family that turns Thanksgiving—and all holidays—into a total nightmare. What are your tips for surviving the holidays? Or do you actually have fun? If so, I’d sure like to know what you’re doing right…

Saturday, November 22, 2014


How about some Adventures in the Life of a Cat Owner?

She’s the second cat I’ve had that does this. I don’t know what’s so difficult about it. You do a poop, then you bury it. Most cats have this down. Why don’t mine?

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Language of Confusion: Thanks (But No Thanks)

Because a certain holiday is coming up for us Americans. You lucky Canadians already got it over with and everyone else doesn’t have to deal with Forced Family Interaction Day. How I envy you that.

Thank (the verb, not the noun with the s at the end) comes from the Old English þancian, and since the þ is pronounced th, that means the word is thancian. I’m not sure if that c was pronounced hard or soft, but since it comes from the Proto Germanic thankojan, it seems likely.

Now, the word can be traced all the way back to the Proto Indo European word tong, which means think or feel. And yes, that’s the origin word for think as well. In fact, think has a very similar origin. It comes from the Old English þencan and Proto Germanic thankjan, so think and thank have been only one letter off from each other for what? Five thousand years? As for why a word that means think evolved to mean gratitude, well, that’s a little less clear. It’s just known that by the eleventh century, a word related to þancian, þanc, which first meant thought and eventually started to mean good thoughts. From there, it went to gratitude, and that’s why we have thanks.

Looks like it’s a quick one today. I guess you owe me your thanks : ).

Tony Jebson’s page on the Origins of Old English

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Computer Hints

I’m computer literate, although I’d hardly call myself an expert. Still, I’m the most tech savvy person in my family, meaning I’m the one everyone calls when something screws up. My life would be much, much simpler if they used some common sense rules.

1. Shut it down and restart it. It doesn’t matter what it is. Laptop, iPad, modem, whatever, it isn’t working right, just shut it down and restart it before calling me.

2. Whatever you download, make sure that you don’t agree to install anymore toolbars. They only make things slower. And you certainly don’t need fifty of them. Seriously, uncheck the box!

3. You don’t need that stupid Weatherbug app. There are a million pages online that tell you what the weather is like outside. Having the app does nothing but spawn popups and eat CPU.

4. If you’re wondering why your browser is so slow, it’s because you’re using Explorer. Chrome, Firefox, Safari, literally anything is better than Explorer. Jumping into the internet Tron-style and battling digital monsters to find the information yourself is faster than Explorer. Not to mention safer.

5. Any program that claims it will make your computer run faster is lying. Ditto anything that claims it’s a free antivirus software. If you want to avoid a virus, don’t click on links that are shortened or unrecognizable.

6. And don’t click on any links in emails, ever, even if it looks real (this one is a special shoutout to my sister, as my mom knows better).

7. It’s not full memory that makes your computer run slow, it’s the crap you download that’s full of malware.

8. Seriously. Just shut it off and turn it back on.

Now, if I could only get my family to pay attention to this list…

Saturday, November 15, 2014


This week, I thought I’d give you a peek at my creative process for writing blog posts.

I’d say more, but I’m going to go play video games instead.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Language of Confusion: Busted

Today’s post brought to you by me wondering where the word robust comes from.

Bust is weird because there are actually two versions of the word that aren’t related at all. First, there’s a bust like a sculpture (which is also the one that refers to a woman’s chest, for some reason). That bust showed up in the late seventeenth century from the French buste, which of course just means bust. Before that, it was the Italian busto, which means bust but also the upper body. Of course it also comes from Latin, the classical Latin bustum, which means torso as well as the ashes from a funeral pyre (isn’t that cheery : ).

So that’s one particular usage of bust. But what about when you say, “That engine is busted.” or “I’m going to bust that guy’s nose!”? It showed up in the mid eighteenth century meaning frolic or spree, and then morphed into the bust we know it as a century later. And it turns out that bust isn’t related to the other bust at all. In fact, it’s actually the word burst without the r, I’m not even kidding. Have you ever wondered why the British and Australians say arse while Americans say ass? Turns out it’s because our ass just lost the r (and the word for donkey isn’t related to the word for buttno fooling). And much like ass, burst also lost an r, even though we kept the original word around, too.

We also have the word combust. It showed up in the late fourteenth century, meaning it predates both busts. It comes from the Old French combust and classical Latin combustus, which means char or consume. It comes from the word comburere, burning. It’s a mix of the prefix com-, just an intensive in this case, and burere, which is the word amburere (char) without the am. Even further back, amburere comes from urere, cauterize, a descendent of the Proto Indo European eus, to burn. Did you follow all that? Basically, combust = com + burere, burere = amburere – am, and amburere = amb + burere. Because it’s not linguistics if it isn’t overly complicated. And it’s not related to bust at all.

So what about the word that started me on this whole mess? Well, I bet you’ll be just shocked to hear that robust has nothing to do with any of these words. It showed up in the mid sixteenth century, from the Middle French robuste and classical Latin robustus, strong. It’s a figurative word, meaning “strong as an oak”. See, robustus comes from robur, which can mean strength or oak and ruber, red. Basically, robust means robust because oaks are strong and red.

TL;DR: Robust, combust, and two forms of bust have nothing to do with one another.


Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Internet Searches that Have Got to Stop

And now, the horrible truth of some bizarre internet searches that are so common that Google brings them up if you type in an innocent sequence of words. I don’t remember what exactly I was searching, just that it started with “Is it possible to never”. Then things got weird.

Do people…really want to know this? Is there someone alive who has not pooped or farted? I just...this gives me a headache.

Another time, I was typing something like “can a cat eat vegetables” (long story, one of my cats keeps trying to eat celery) but I accidentally hit a z instead of the c for cat and I got…

Honestly, it’s less weird than the other one, but it also makes me think that people actually think it could happen and oh that’s depressing for humanity. And what’s with the yahoo? Are they the ones that are going to bring the zombie apocalypse down on us? Google I can see being behind something like that, but not Yahoo. I’m sure they’d try and maybe they’d eventually get it to work, but by then we’d have all moved on to better zombie apocalypses.

And finally, I was looking up something else and the auto fill gave this…

I don’t know what’s the matter with Kansas. Or the meaning of life. Or how a search engine can answer that. Seriously people, it’s a search engine, not god.

Have you ever stumbled across any crazy/disturbing searches?

Saturday, November 8, 2014


White pine trees provide a house with lots of shade, but it also tries to smother you with pine needles.

Places I’ve found Pine Needles

100% true stories, all of them.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Easy to Confuse

Easily confused words this week! Because I’ve been busy and don’t have time to do all the research for the Language of Confusion.

Did someone mention this one to me? If so, I forgot to note it down, sorry :P. Anyway, hoard and horde, which would make good words to etymologize. As far as I know, horde (a crowd) can only be a noun, while hoard (store or stockpile) can be a noun and a verb. Just remember: zombies come in hordes. Both end in e. Well, technically e-s, but that’s only because they’re plural.

I know I saw this one somewhere and it made me want to reach through the internet and shake whoever did it. These ones aren’t even homophones! Lose is the opposite of win, loose is the opposite of tight. Now if I could only get everyone on the internet to read this post.

Okay, this one is just something I do all the time. I always, always write entice with an i, and then it autocorrects to incite, which is an actual word, unlike intice. I have no idea why I do this. I suppose I should be more forgiving of people who screw up lose and loose…

This is another one I see all the time. Both refer to air going in and out of the lungs, but one is a noun, the other is the verb. People forget the e, not knowing how important it is. It’s so magical that it changes the “ea” from sounding like “eh” to sounding like “ee”. I guess it’s linguistomancy.

And finally we have another word that I will mix up if I don’t stop to think about it. Bare is the more narrow word, referring to things that are empty or exposed. Bear can be an animal, or a verb for withstanding/carrying and several other applications. Basically, I usually want bear.

Do you have any words that you mix up or always get wrong? What do you do to keep words straight when you’re writing?

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

November Goals

September was a total nightmare. October wasn’t, so was I able to get anything done?

Ha ha. No.

October Goals

1. Work on, and preferably finish, REMEMBER notes. For real. Seriously.
I swear I fully intended to do this. I just wanted to finish my other project first (the one listed right beneath this one). You know when I finished that project? October 31st. I’m so sorry, REMEMBER.

2. Finish my non-writing side project (I don’t usually put these on the list, but I might actually be able to do this one).
I have no idea why this took so freaking long. I thought I’d be done the first week of October. Then the second. Then the third. Every single day, I swore I’d be done “tomorrow”. Every day I realized there was still more to do. I’m not saying I’m great at estimating how long it takes to do something, but I’ve never been this badly off. This was such a huge time eater. But it’s done, and I’ll never have to do it again.

3. More stick figure comics! You guys are weirdly easy to please.
At least I did this one…

All right, here we go. Maybe I’ll get something important done this month…

November Goals

1. Do the frigging REMEMBER notes, dang it. The italics mean I’m serious.

2. If I finish the notes, then I can get back to work on my other WIP. I should also make notes of the other idea that’s rolling around in my head before I forget it.

3. Maybe try to get another apocalypse post up. Remember those?

Okay, so let’s see if I can actually do something this month. Fingers crossed. So what are you going to be up to? And if you’re doing NaNo, I assume I won’t be seeing you until December 1st : ).

Saturday, November 1, 2014


Another Halloween has passed. Such a shame. It really is the best holiday...

Ah, traditions!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Language of Confusion: Animalia

Has anyone wondered why animals are called the things they are? No? Just me then?

Whatever. Here’s etymology of some common animals.

Cat comes from the Old English catt (why the extra T, Old English?), and before that the Proto Germanic kattuz, and earlier the Late Latin cattus. We also have the word feline, which didn’t show up in English until the late seventeenth century (historical fiction writers take note!). That comes from the Late Latin felinus and classical Latin feles, which just means cat. Apparently people liked the word cattus more than feles, which is why we call them cats instead of fels. Oh, and the reason we call baby cats kittens is because of French. Kitten showed up in the late fourteenth century, most likely coming from the Old French chitoun, which means little cat : ).

Dog comes from the Old English docga, an uncommon word that meant a powerful breed of canine. It replaced the previous word for the animal, hund, which we still use as hound. So originally, all dogs were hounds, coming from the Proto Germanic hundas, and further back than that, possibly the same Proto Indo European origin word as canine, kwon. Interestingly enough, canine only meant the tooth at first, not meaning dog until the mid-nineteenth century. It comes from the classical Latin caninus, which means dog or of dogs. So yes, it seems like the tooth was named because it looked like a dog’s tooth, and although it was a word for dog in Latin, English didn’t pick it up until sometime after the American Civil War. And the word puppy originally just meant a small lap dog. It showed up in the late fifteenth century, probably coming from the Middle French poupee, toy (and the origin word for puppet).

Rabbit is an interesting one. When it first appeared in the late fourteenth century, it only meant a baby coney, which was the word for rabbit up until the eighteenth century comes from the Walloon (that’s southern Belgium) word robète. What’s up with that word “coney”? Well, it comes from the usual Latin origin, where it’s the word cunilicus. It fell out of use because it happened to be a homophone of a rather unfortunate word in British English (I’m not getting more specific than that, but let’s just say the word used to rhyme with honey, not phony). But have you ever wondered why Coney Island in New York is named that? Now you know.


Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Random Thoughts

---Yes, Random Thoughts! And on a Tuesday! It’s because today my mom is going in for laser eye surgery, which, I’m disappointed to note, is done with lasers, not to turn your eyes into lasers. Anyway, I’m going to have to be driving her around this week, which means my presence will probably be sporadic. It also means I’m going to be hearing constant criticism about how I’m too hesitant a driver and I’m going too fast and I’m too close to that car and one of us isn’t going to survive this.
---There’s a lake in Tanzania that calcifies animals that fall into it. It basically instantly turns them into stones.
---Anyone else want to be dunked in there after they die? Preferably in a cool pose. Hell, what’s the point if you’re not in a cool pose?
---There’s no proof that MSG is actually bad for you. So go nuts with the Chinese food.
---Since human blood has a protein composition similar to eggs, it can be used as a substitute in baking and ice cream. So no worries, cannibals. You can still have your cake.
---You can’t unlearn that.
---Originally, the word strongest was “strengest”. Same goes for longest, which was once “lengest”. I weirdly like them better than strongest and longest.
---A woman set her roommate on fire because he threw out her leftovers. I’d also like to point out that he was letting her stay there after she lost her job. Apparently gratitude does not outweigh old spaghetti and meatballs.
---Bananas are all clones. Every single one has the exact same DNA. Can you imagine if one got some disease? It would kill all of them!
---Of course, the banana they all come from, the Banana Prime, if you will, is really just a mutant. Real bananas have pretty big seeds in them.
---The point here: bananas are all mutant clones.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

The Web

Yes, more bugs, because spiders are nothing if not nefarious.

Another totally true story.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Language of Confusion: Gests

Gest is a part of many words (it’s also a word by itself, something I didn’t know before this—it means a story or an exploit). It’s at the beginning of gesture and gestate, and at the end of suggest and digest. Plus there’s the word jest—are they related? Or is this going to be another one of those things where no one has any idea what anything means?

Probably the latter, but let’s see.

Gest and jest actually come from the same place, the Old French geste, which means an action. Further back in classical Latin, it’s gesta, which means events or deeds, and is related to gerere, which can mean wage, perform, or to carry. Okay, that kind of makes sense.

Gesture has a pretty similar lineage. It showed up in the early fifteenth century, coming from the Medieval Latin gestura, bearing or behavior, and classical Latin gestus, which means gesture and is another version of gesta. Gestation showed up in the early sixteenth century (gestate didn’t come until over two centuries later!) and at first it meant…riding on horseback. Um, wow. The whole going-to-give-birth thing didn’t come until a century later. It turns out, both definitions kind of make sense. Gestation comes from the classical Latin gestationem (related to gerere), which means carrying. A horse carries a person and a person carries a baby, right?

Now, for the suffix -gest. Suggest showed up in the early sixteenth century from the classical Latin suggestus (pulpit) and suggere (bring). Suggestion actually came earlier, in the mid-fourteenth century, where it meant something like temptation. It comes from the Anglo French/Old French suggestioun and classical Latin suggestionem, which is pretty much just suggestion as we know it. It’s a mix of gest, carry, and the prefix sub-, meaning up (that might seem weird since sub- usually means beneath, but it really did used to mean up). So it means to carry up, in the sense of “bringing up an idea”. I’m not sure how evil got mixed into it, though.

Ingest is easy, showing up in the early seventeenth century from the classical Latin ingestus/ingerere, where it means to shower or heap upon. The in- prefix means “into” in this case. Since the literal translation would be something like “carry into”, I guess the Romans went figurative here.

Next is digest. Both the writing kind of digest and the food one showed up in the late fourteenth century, both coming from the Latin digestus, compiled, and digerere, which is just plain digest. That word is a mix of dis-, apart, and the carry from gerere, so to carry apart. That makes sense for digesting food, but it kind of seems like the opposite of a writing digest. But digestus means compiled, so…

Okay, maybe the next one will make more sense. Congest showed up in the early fifteenth century, where it meant “bring together”. It comes from the classical Latin congestus, compilation or heap, and congerere, store or bring together. The con- prefix is the together part, and with gerere it’s “carry together”, and since congestion is a bunch of stuff that’s brought together, it does make sense!

Is that all? Ha ha, no. Register is also a -gest word. It showed up in the late fourteenth century, from the Old French register and Medieval Latin registrum. That word comes from the classical Latin regesta/regestus (there’s the e!), which literally means thrown back. That of course comes from regerere, which can mean record or carry back (the re- means back, so they used this word both literally and figuratively).

Oh, and for the record, the word gist isn’t related to any of these. It actually comes from the same word as jet.

Whoa, that was a long one.

Dictionary of Medieval Latin

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Millions of Peaches

Last week, my cousin posted that he and his girlfriend found a cat outside their apartment. As it was a small apartment and they had two cats already, he was asking if anyone could take her. Obviously I had to say yes. Now bask in the cuteness.

My cousin named her Peaches, and that sounded good to me (although Pumpkin may be more appropriate given the month…well, I like peaches more than pumpkins). She’s already taken over my bed, and pretty much the rest of the house. I really don’t think the picture does justice to how fluffy that tail is. Her fur is mostly short-medium in length, until you get to the tail, which is as wide as the rest of the cat. She also has the most beautiful golden orange eyes.

Okay, I’ll shut up now, before I start rambling, which I most definitely will do if it’s about cats.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

The Cricket

Keeping in line with my (unintentional) theme of bugs and how gross and creepy they are, here’s another story about how gross and creepy they are. Or at least how stupid they are.

I tell you, that spider must have invited all his spider friends over and had a kick-ass party.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Language of Confusion: Victorious

Victory showed up in the early fourteenth century from the Anglo French/Old French victorie and classical Latin victoria, which means…victory. Where do these words come from? Anyway, victoria is the past participle of vincere, the origin word for victor (the n is dropped in some tense of the word for some reason). Vincere, to win, can be traced back to the ProtoIndo European word weik, fight or conquer (among other things; it’s a really common word).

This might surprise you, but the word victim does not seem to be related to victory. It showed up in the late fifteenth century specifically meaning a sacrifice (the more general meaning came about fifty years later). It comes from the classical Latin victima, where it had a similar connotation. And that’s it. No vincere, no weik, at least, not that I found. So maybe, maybe not.

The words that are related to victory actually have it in their suffixes. Convince is just vincere with con- in front of it, which makes it “conquer with”. Province is also a vincere word, the pro- meaning before, though no one’s sure exactly how that word’s supposed to make sense. The name Vincent also comes from vincere, and of course, so does the name Victor.

TL;DR: Victory isn’t related to any word that it makes sense for it to be related to.


Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Scare Time

I stumbled across this on Tumblr (ha, that’s almost a rhyme), and I’ve got to say, it’s pretty dang creepy. And since October is the month for creepiness, I figured I should share it with you guys. Fair warning, it’s about an hour long. It’s just an audio file of a teacher telling “The Kimberly Story” to a bunch of high school students (which is good, because it would scare the pants off anyone younger), so you can listen to it in the background while you do something else. But for maximum effect, I suggest waiting until dark and turning off the lights.

For those who don’t want to wait, the gist is this: back when he lived in Texas, a girl in his class disappeared. Then she came back. And then things go from weird to terrifying. Is it real? I don’t know. The things that happened certainly don’t seem like they could be. While it’s based on some actual events, most of it seems embellished. The keyword being “seems”. Either way, real or fake, it’s a damn scary story, perfect for this time of year.

Take a listen.

Then, since I assume you’ll be up for three days straight, you’ll have plenty of time to come back to the blog and share your thoughts.