Tuesday, March 31, 2015

April Goals

April Fools isn’t until tomorrow, but that’s when the Challenge starts so I have to do something crazy and post early.

Well, at least it wasn’t as bad as February. But it was close.

March Goals
1. Find enough time to do some writing/editing! Please, pretty please. Maybe I’ll win the lottery and then not have to worry about money anymore.
Barely. In all, I’d call this a failure, because I really didn’t get to do as much as I wanted. It’s just that my only free time is at the end of the day and I’m always so tired…sigh…

2. All the snow has caused some water damage, so I will be spending some time trying to mitigate that. Man, how I wish I didn’t have to make this a goal. Didn’t this blog used to be about writing?
F*****g snow. It actually started to melt at the end of the month, and the ice dams in the gutters finally disappeared. But there is just so much damage. Okay, not tons, but still more than I can handle…

3. Get all my A-to-Z Challenge posts ready for posting! They’re all written, so it’s just setting them up. I’m actually kind of excited for this one.
At least the recap doesn’t have to end on a sour note. I did this, and my posts are all ready, and I’m really happy about it.

Oh, April. Please don’t be another February. Or March for that matter.

April Goals
1. Write a short story. I actually have an idea for one. Not sure what will happen with it, but it’ writing.

2. Figure out how to fix all the damage. Again, I hate having to make this a goal, but I have a feeling it’s going to be occupying my thoughts a lot this month…

3. A-to-Z Challenge! Yay! My posts are all ready, but I have to be sure to visit new blogs every day, as well as all my usuals. Expect a lot of late comments from me.

Okay, so that’s my plan for April. Please, just don’t let there be any surprises. What are you up to this month? Ready for spring/fall?

Saturday, March 28, 2015


Now, this happened in early February between all the snow storms. Not that the weather has warmed much since then...

They were chocolate peanut butter. And they were awesome.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Language of Confusion: Prepositions, Part II

More of this, and there are some interesting ones this time. Plus it’s my last etymology post before a solid month of etymology.

I know. I’m happy, too.

Through showed up in the late fourteenth century, coming from the Old English word Þurh underwent metathesis, which basically means metamorphosis, but with sounds and no possibility of superheroes. So Þurh (which would have been pronounced thurh) came into contact with gamma radiation and turned into “thru”. Before that, it was the Proto Germanic thurkh, which sounds like my cat coughing up a hairball, and then the Proto Indo European tere, cross over or overcome. And the word thorough is related, too, its Old English equivalent, Þuruh, descended from Þurh. Because of course it is.

Of comes from the Old English of, which was another way of saying aef, away or away from. So yes, of originally had pretty much the opposite meaning, but was used in Middle English (for some reason) as a translation for foreign words for of, like the classical Latin ex. Oops! We don’t have a good word for this. Let’s just change the meaning of this other word, then! Anyway, before English, it was the Proto Germanic af and Proto Indo European apo, away. Weirdly enough, apo- is still used today as a prefix before Greek words like apogee, which literally translates to “away from earth”, and apology.

For comes from the Old English…for, with pretty much the same meaning, and before that, the Proto Germanic fur. Its Proto Indo European ancestor is per-, and yes, that’s the progenitor of per- as well as fore. Per- was even more flexible then than for is now.

And the last word we’re looking at today is from, which comes from the Old English fram, which had some things in common with our definition, but more specific to “departure or movement away in time or space”. It comes from the Proto Germanic fra, forward or away from, and Proto Indo European pro-mo-, the pro- part of which gave us, shockingly enough, pro-. Oh, and the weird factoid for this one is that fram gave us the word frame. From and frame are related, fairly closely, too.

That’s it, everybody go home. The language is canceled. You don’t have to go home but you can’t stay here.

Tony Jebson’s page on the Origins of Old English

Monday, March 23, 2015

A-to-Z Challenge Theme Reveal

Posting a day early, of course, because today is the big theme reveal for the Challenge.

Come on. As if you didn’t know what I’m doing.

It’s etymology. Of course it’s etymology. What else would it be? I love my etymology days because words are so weird and fascinating (ooh, weird and fascinating will make good words to etymologize), but there are tons of words that really aren’t long enough to warrant a post of their own. And while sometimes I’m able to find a reason to post a bunch of them together, like the prepositions post from last week (and this week) and the post from a few weeks before when I did synonyms for smart, sometimes I really can’t think of a good uniting force.

Which is where the Challenge comes in. It’s perfect. One word a day, short posts, a variety of subjects. And it all begins a week from Wednesday.

So if you’re not doing the Challenge, prepare for some extra posts, and if you are doing the Challenge, boy, are we going to be busy.

Happy April!

Saturday, March 21, 2015


It snowed last night. Again.

You might recognize this as the same joke as last week. Well, you know what? I’m out shoveling snow in the middle of March and I don’t want to hear it.

Sorry for imploding the universe. Frankly, it had it coming.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Language of Confusion: Prepositions, Part I

There are a lot of prepositions and prepositional phrases, so I’m only going over the ones that I don’t think I’ll go over in another post. And there’s still a lot to go over, so this is going to be a two parter. Now let’s go!

A…the article and the preposition, not the letter, showed up in the mid twelfth century, coming from the Old English an. And yes, that’s where an comes from, although it used to have a long vowel sound, making it more like ain, I guess. Anyway, an actually meant one in Old English (also, where we got one from, although that’s a story for another day) and it can be traced to the Proto Germanic ainaz and Proto Indo European oi-no, one. As for why people dropped the N before consonants…who knows why they do anything?

At comes from the Old English æt, which, of course, comes from the Proto Germanic at. Sometimes, language, I don’t know why you even bother. Anyway, before that it’s from the Proto Indo European ad, which is where we get the prefix ad- from. Except by way of classical Latin, not Proto Germanic, because of course.

By comes from the Old English be/bi, roughly meaning what we know it as. Before that, it was the Proto Germanic bi, around or about, and even further back, the Proto Indo European umbi, which just happens to be where the prefix ambi- comes from, although again, by way of Latin. I guess we get our prepositions from Germanic and our prefixes from Latin.

Often confused word than comes from the Old English Þan—Þ is thorn, a forgotten letter. It’s pronounced like the th in math, making this word just than. Apparently the reason it looks so much like then is because it Þan comes from Þanne, which is then in Old English. Þanne can be traced further back to the Proto Germanic thana, a descendant of the Proto Indo European to.

Tony Jebson’s page on the Origins of Old English

Tuesday, March 17, 2015


I have been soooo sick of online ads lately. If I leave my laptop unmuted, I get attacked by obnoxious sound ads. And don’t get me started on the hated pop-ups. It’s like, advertisers think that if they make the ads obnoxious enough, we’ll pay attention to them, which is some sort of logic I can’t wrap my head around, like string theory or why Law and Order: SVU is still on.

But! There are ways to block them. Adblock Plus is considered one of the best, and it’s available as extensions for all browsers, including Firefox, Chrome, and Opera if you have to be different. As for Explorer...well, I’m sure it works, but if you’re using Explorer, that’s an entirely different problem and frankly, you’re asking for trouble. Adblock is good because you can adjust it to allow non-intrusive ads (e.g. regular banner ads) so the sites you visit still get their ad revenue. I follow a lot of independent web comics and I want to support them, so it’s a good option. Just remember you have to go into options and adjust it manually.

So that’s enough unpaid shilling for today. Ads mostly suck. And if advertisers really want their messages  heard, they need to stop being so obnoxious.

I’ll be more wordy on the next post. Later!

Saturday, March 14, 2015


This one probably doesn’t need any introduction. Just over a week ago, it started snowing. Again.

Not pictured: the stains in the ceiling from the water damage caused by the ice dams.

The “light snow” the weather predicted for last week was 4-6 inches, which I have to admit, is light considering the approximately three feet that’s already out there.

Seriously, winter. F**k you.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Language of Confusion: Still

I saw the word still somewhere and I was like, “Huh, that’s an interesting word,” so here it is.

Still, like to be still, comes from the Old English stille, motionless, which gave us first being physically still and then the calm, quiet sense of the word. Before that it was the Proto Germanic stilli, which can be traced to the Proto Indo European stel, which means put or stand and is also the origin word for stall.

The only version of the word still that isn’t really related is the still that means like what you make alcohol in. That word actually comes from the Middle English stillen, which means…to distill. Apparently, that word was just a variation of the word distillen, which comes from the Old French distiller and classical Latin distillare, to drip. Distillare is a mix of the prefix dis-, apart, and stillare, to drip or drop down. So while it seems like stillare and distillare have the same meaning, “to drip apart” refers to the process of distilling, where something drips down apart from impurities.

There’s one more word we’re going to look at: instill. It showed up in the early fifteenth century meaning “to introduce little by little”. It comes from the classical Latin instillare, which has pretty much the same definition. The in- of course means in and the stillare is drop, so drop in. Just in very small increments.

TL;DR: Still is Germanic (except for alcohol stills) and means stall, and instill and distill are Latin and mean to drip.

Tony Jebson’s page on the Origins of Old English
University of Texas at San Antonio’s page on Proto Indo European language

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

The New Digs

Computer digs, I mean. I’ve had my new laptop for over a month now, so I think it’s fair to say that I can judge it properly. It’s…well, you know what, this will probably be easier in list form, because lists just make everything better.

---Boots up like hella fast; I have to give Windows 8 credit for that
---I can finally copy links from the address bar in Chrome again; seriously, that was driving me nuts
---Um…the cat seems to enjoy licking it…not really sure what to make of this

---Windows 8 (technically 8.1, but that really isn’t better)
---I have to use the FN key if I want to use F7, which as you probably all know, is the spell check/thesaurus button; and you know what, this might be a small thing, but it’s a pain in the freaking ass
---I can’t just find a program, right click, and put it on the desk top; I have to manually create an icon just so I have easy access to it on the desk top; italicized because SERIOUSLY WHY IS THAT A THING?
---Of course, you can’t just find a program anyway, as there’s no Programs button in the start menu; you’re just supposed to start typing what you want and pray that the right thing comes up (and that it’s not under some stupid name you don’t recognize)
---Seriously, I hate the Start menu; it’s blocky and colorful and I want things in neat, list-like rows
---Oh, and here’s a switch as I’ll actually be complaining about something other than Windows 8, but rather Toshiba as they’re the ones who made this thing; I couldn’t scroll using the touch panel; do you have any idea how annoying that is? It took me a week to figure out how to fix it (Toshiba’s help site was exactly no help); until then, I had to use the arrow keys or manually scroll like an animal!
---Windows 8. I just don’t think I can explain in words how unintuitive it is; for a tablet or a touchscreen, yeah, maybe it would work; but I don’t frigging have one of those, do I, Windows 8? DO I?
---All the apps stupid Windows 8 tries to shove down my throat; you know what, Windows 8? I don’t need a “Food and Drink” app. I don’t need your stupid “Mail”. What I need is to be able to find my copy of Microsoft Word and Paint for all my Spamfiles pictures. But do you make them easy to find? Or do you give me the stupidest bass-ackwards interface that someone thought up after huffing lead based paint?
---Windows 8. Go die in a fire.

Okay, so there are way more Cons than Pros, mostly because of Windows f*****g 8 being a piece of garbage. I know shouldn’t complain about something that was basically free but…man, I wish I could have picked it out myself.

If you’re in the market for a new computer/laptop, for the love of all that is holy, wait until the next version of Windows comes out because it can’t be as bad as this monstrosity. If your computer dies early, you’re better off getting an old one with Windows 7 than suffering with 8.

Seriously, Windows 8. Hate you.

Saturday, March 7, 2015


AKA: Things To Do After the Car Breaks Down at the Gas Station and You’re Waiting for Triple A

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Secret Origins: W

I’m sure this won’t be another rehash of U, like the letter V was. Or maybe it will as I’m already rehashing the opening statement.

The alphabet gif has a short lineage for W. See, it turns out, most other languages just used U/V for W. In Etruscan, a version of it was figure 8 they used for the F sound. It was the Germanic languages that used two U’s, or W, to signify the sound for V. It didn’t become “wah” until later, again in Germanic writings (where they also kind of used a P like symbol for the W sound).

So, in neater, list format:

F = V sound (it’s a soft F, so basically a V)
8 = HF sound (this would be a F like we know it)
V = U (makes the U sound; there is no W sound at all)

Ancient Latin:
F = F (really only used for F as they didn’t use a V sound)
Y = U/W (It looks like a Y, but it’s really a V and it makes the U sound; still no W sound)

Roman Latin:
F = F (again, just F)
V = U (the sound)
VV = UU (started by Germanic languages for the V sound they had; later, it started to be wah instead of vah)

Modern Latin:
F = F
U = U
V = V
W = W

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

March Goals

Oh, man, February just…just sucked, for way too many people. It’s been a long time since I’ve been this relieved for a new month to dawn. I just wish February would take this m@&#$&%^#*@%g snow with it.

February Goals
1. Try to find enough time to do those frigging edits on REMEMBER.
Unfortunately, no, I was no able to. This month was just a mess and I really didn’t have that much free time because it was either work lots of hours at a low paying job or starve. I am so bummed about this that I’m going to have to use a sad face emoticon. : (

2. Get caught up on everything I fell behind on without a computer.
Well, I was at least able to do this. Small victories, I guess.

3. Don’t starve to death. Maybe.
I’m still here, so I guess this was a success. I just wish it felt like it. I’ve been so busy working that I don’t have enough time to write and that just sucks.

Sigh. I really hope March is better. I mean, it can’t be worse, right?


March Goals
1. Find enough time to do some writing/editing! Please, pretty please. Maybe I’ll win the lottery and then not have to worry about money anymore.

2. All the snow has caused some water damage, so I will be spending some time trying to mitigate that. Man, how I wish I didn’t have to make this a goal. Didn’t this blog used to be about writing?

3. Get all my A-to-Z Challenge posts ready for posting! They’re all written, so it’s just setting them up. I’m actually kind of excited for this one.

Okay, so that’s the plan. What are you up to this month? Need any snow? Because I have lots of extra.