Tuesday, January 31, 2017


Please look at these actual factual reasons people were committed to an asylum in the late nineteenth century.

I’m not even sure where to begin. First of all, how many of these are just being a woman who’s in her husband’s way? Female disease and woman trouble, ill treatment by husband (like, you know, being involuntarily committed), imaginary female trouble, hysteria. And of course rumor of husband murder. And maybe it’s my uterine derangement talking, but isn’t involuntary confinement what being committed to an asylum all about?

Plus there’s things beyond that that are totally objective. Politics, political excitement, religious enthusiasm, superstition, over action of the mind, and about a million other things that you can claim of anyone you don’t like. You better not study hard because if you do, bam, you’re getting committed. Don’t read any novels, either.

In truth, it’s actually a list of why some people were committed, i.e. their relatives said these were symptoms of their mental illness. Still though. People pretty much used anything as an excuse. Although shooting your daughter is a pretty good reason for being locked up.

Saturday, January 28, 2017


Last month was gift wrapping season. This year provided some…unique challenges. 
Oh, and this was glittery ribbon, so it also came out sparkly.

I’m going to need a better hiding place for the gifts.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Language of Confusion: Plane

Plane actually has a lot of definitions that seem different but are all related. It’s a flat surface, it’s short for airplane, and a bunch of definitions that I didn’t know of like a tool for making things smooth, a verb form that means to make smooth, and a tree of the Platanus genus (yes, it really is related to the others). And also there’s one that means to glide, which, I’m calling it right now, is where airplane comes from.

The plane we still use, a flat surface, showed up in the early seventeenth century, although the verb form to make smooth is from the early fourteenth century. It comes from the classical Latin planum, which means, you know, plane. Not trying to be original here. Anyway, before that it was the Proto Indo European pla-no-, which is a form of the word pele-, flat or to spread out. Funny how the only one we really still use is the one that’s most recent. Only three hundred more years and it will be as old as the others before they fell out of use.

Most of the other planes are related to planus in some way. The tool one and the make smooth one are pretty obvious, although they actually came to us via the Old French plane/planer. Airplane of course is just air + plane (told ya), and it’s the same story for aeroplane. But there are plenty of other words that are related to plane.

Planet comes from the Old English planet. Which means planet. It comes from the Old French planete and Late Latin planeta, and earlier the Greek planetes, which of course just happens to be from pe-le-. Maybe planet comes from flat because they used to think planet was flat.

Plan is also related. And also surprisingly recent as it showed up in the late seventeenth century as a noun and not a verb until 1728. It comes from the Modern French plan, you all know what this means, it’s plan. Look, there’s just no originality here. It comes from the classical Latin planum, which I assume you remember from a few paragraphs ago. As for why it went from a flat surface to a plan, well… what do you make your plans on? I’m not kidding here. Think about it. Have you ever tried making a plan on a jagged surface? It’s impossible!

Tony Jebson’s page on the Origins of Old English

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

A Working Computer

After months and months of complaining about my laptop, I finally got a new one! And now that a month has passed and the novelty has worn off, I can now review it with some objectivity. It’s…not bad?

I got a Dell Inspiron that for some reason I keep trying to spell as “Inspirion” for some reason. It’s not exactly top of the line, but I don’t need anything fancy. It plays what I want it to and that’s all that matters.

It seems to work better than my last one, although that may just be because it hasn’t been bogged down by years of downloads. It doesn’t overheat from trying to use Flash, definitely a plus, actually plays videos when I’m streaming, and there have been a lot less internet connectivity issues that make me go berserk because it tells me to look for solutions online.

However, it’s not without its flaws. Big, huge, bothersome flaws. The touchpad is horrible. You need to use two fingers to scroll—like some kind of animal—and half the time when I hit the lower right corner to right click it just regular clicks because it’s a piece of crap. And can you change any of these functions to something you like? No! Not at all. Because it’s not enough to have a bad touchpad, you have to have a bad touchpad driver, too.

Plus there are other weird, stupid things. For some reason, it will not scroll in Word when I have a large document open. Say like one for a novel I’m trying to write. Yeah, it’s a bit of an issue. I can still scroll using the touchscreen for some reason and I do use it, but I hate it because I hate touchscreens. Which is why I didn’t order one. But I got one anyway. Although considering the scrolling/touchpad issues, I’ve been forced to use it. Which I hate. It gunks up the screen.

Now, as annoying as this is, it’s still a much better computer. When I first turned it on, I was shocked at some of the colors that I had been missing on a clearly inferior screen. It was like getting new glasses and seeing the world clearly for the first time. And, like I said, it just plain runs better. Hell, we might have had the last comic that involves me throwing my computer out the window in frustration.

Well, maybe.

Saturday, January 21, 2017


True story about what happened on Christmas when I needed a ride to my aunt’s house and my nephew offered to give me a lift as well as help with all the things I had to carry.
Don’t get me wrong, he’s a smart kid. But yeah. He complained several times about losing that Red Bull.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Language of Confusion: The Sequel

A while back (in fact, almost exactly a year ago), I did an etymology post about words with quest, like question or request. I figured that the word sequester would be related. I was wrong. All the quest words come from the origin word for query. Sequester does not.

Sequester showed up in the late fourteenth century with basically the same meaning, although then it was used for anything rather than specifically juries. It comes from the Old French sequestrer, which then comes from the Late Latin sequestrare, to place in safekeeping. Amusingly, that word comes from a classical Latin word: sequester, which meant something like mediator. Yes, it was spelled exactly the same as we spell it before they threw a bunch of extra R’s in there. It probably comes from sequi, follow, the origin word for sequel, although I’m not sure how you get from follow to mediator. Magic?

But now let’s look at sequel. It showed up in the early fifteenth century meaning “train of followers”. Which…I guess it makes sense but it’s still odd for some reason. It comes from the Old French sequelle and Late Latin sequela, thing that follows or result, and sequi of course. Sequi can actually be traced all the way back to the Proto Indo European sekw-, to follow.

Other words that come from sequi/sekw- include segue, which showed up in 1740 from the Italian segue and its verb form sequire, to follow, which come right from sequi. Sequence is also from sequi, showing up in the late fourteenth century as a hymn specifically sung “after the Hallelujah and before the Gospel”. That’s because it’s from the Old French sequence, answering versus. I guess they wanted a word for that and decided to make one from the Latin word for follow.

There are actually a ton of other words from sekw- but if I get into them now we’ll be here all day. Enough weirdness for now.

Orbis Latinus

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

From The Spamfiles

First spam post of the new year! Let’s see how many squares from the Spam Bingo game we can cross off!

It’s been so long since I’ve gotten one of these spam messages with the random sentences. I just love how nonsensical they are. “Please matt shook his attention on them”. “Either way Sylvia leaned forward”. What do they mean? No one knows. But it does count for the Nonsensical category in Spam Bingo.

Honestly, it enrages me that they have an apostrophe in the word “says”. These people are monsters and need to be destroyed. Also it’s an ED one, so that’s another hit for Spam Bingo.

I think I must be a bad mom/wife. I didn’t know I had children or a husband.

This offer is brought to you by Mistigraph Dynalaborer! I think that’s a hit for the Ridiculous Name category.

Solve your tax problems with fancy fonts!

More than two emojis! That’s another one for the Spam Bingo!

Not a bad haul!

Saturday, January 14, 2017


Lately, weird things have been happening to me. They’re not totally awful. They’re almost the opposite.

I’m not used to things going well.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Language of Confusion: Wasted

We’re looking at waste plus a special bonus of the word waist because they sound alike and that bothers me.

Waste showed up in the early thirteenth century, both as a verb which meant to ravage or ruin and a noun that meant desolation. Both words are from Anglo French and Old North French, with the nouns version being wast and the verb waster because French at least differentiates verbs and nouns. Both words can be traced to the classical Latin vastare, to devastate. You might be thinking that’s the origin word for vast. And it is! But it’s also related to the origin word for vain, of all things (because the vain origin word means empty, like something vast or wastelands). But that’s not the end of the weirdness. There’s an Old English version of the word, westan, which is Germanic and origin. That’s probably related to vastare, but it’s not where we Modern English speakers get our waste from. That would make too much sense.

Waist on the other hand showed up in the late fourteenth century meaning both the middle of the body and a garment that you wore on your waist. It’s thought to come from the Old English waest, growth, based on the thought that a waist is “where the body grows”. Look, I’m just telling you what I read. Waest comes from the Proto Germanic wahs-tu-, which is related to wahsan, the origin word for wax—not candle wax, like the moon waxes. Also, wahs-tu- comes from the Proto Indo European wegs-, which is from aug-, to increase. The origin word for augment.

What the hell universe am I in?

Tony Jebson’s page on the Origins of Old English

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

January Goals

It’s time to make some goals for the month. Well, technically the first day of the month would have been the time and it’s now the tenth. But there’s a one in there so it counts. First let’s see how I did on last month’s goals.

December Goals
1. Do 10,000 more words in the WIP. If I was able to do it last month, I better be able to do it now.
Well, I did it! Again! Somehow!

2. Maybe update my blog design. It’s been YEARS.
I almost forgot, but I did it! It’s not too bad, either.

3. Christmas. AAAAAAAAAAGH.
Well, Christmas itself wasn’t too bad, although it kind of sucked considering that another uncle died two days before.

I think the most important thing is that 2016 is dead and it can’t come back. Now for this month…

January Goals
1. 10K more. Keep up the pace!

2. Update my etymology page again. I don’t want it to get out of hand!

3. Do all the stupid adult crap I have to do. I hate being an adult.

So that’s what I have planned. What are you up to now that you’ve escaped 2016?

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Secret Origins: 3

What better way to start off the new year than with the history of a number?

Shut up. It’s fun.

As a word, three comes from the Old English Þreo/Þri/Þrie and since Þ is just “th”, that makes them threo, thri, and thrie. Why so many? Because of course we had to have a feminine version and two different masculine versions. Anyway, all those versions of three come from the Proto Germanic thrijiz, and even earlier the Proto Indo European trei-. So this word really hasn’t changed that much.

The symbol of course has its own story. All the numerals we use in the English language originated in India before Arabic countries picked them up and then spread them through the European countries that we get our language from. 3 itself has changed over the centuries, sometimes jagged, other times written on its side with a huge tail. Basically, there were a lot of different versions of 3 over the years, and for some reason one stuck around when the others didn’t. Because that’s always how it is.

Tony Jebson’s page on the Origins of Old English

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Resolutions 2017

Well, it’s 2017. It has a pretty low bar set for it. Not turning into the world from The Hunger Games is pretty much all that needs to happen. Those of you with kids might want to start training them just in case.

Anyway, this is what I hope to do this year:

Resolutions 2017
1. Finish the first draft of my new WIP and hopefully start editing it.

2. Come up with an idea for a new story that I probably won’t have time to write but still want anyway.

3. Do the A-To-Z Challenge for the fourth time! Probably should get started on those posts. CANCELLED. I did not realize that one of the creators was a member of the rabid racist camp.

4. Build a rocket ship and move to Mars because I don’t want to live on this planet anymore.

5. Find a new project to work on in my spare time. You know, something easy that I can work on when I’m too tired to write.

6. Maybe don’t forget any of my resolutions this year :P.

7. Keep on blogging!

I don’t know what to expect from this year. There are plenty of things I’d like to do, but who knows if I’ll be able to. What do you want from 2017? I mean besides it not being as bad as 2016. That’s a given.