Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Spam Bingo

Might as well end the month with this, since I totally misjudged when the last day of May was and didn’t have a post ready it’s in keeping with the theme of this month.
So close! I know I haven’t posted all of these here, but if you don’t believe me go ahead and look through the Spamfiles archive. They’re all there. Sometimes two or three times.

Just two more left. I’ve had someone call pretending to be someone I know asking for money (it’s that scam when someone calls pretending to be an underage relative in jail), but no emails. But I’m really disappointed that I haven’t received any impersonators that can be easily googled. How will I ever win the game?

And if you’d like some actual original contact, Cracked had another interesting article, this one about people using the names of actual people in the military to catfish women. I’ve gotten similar spam in the past several years, although asking for money, not trying to catfish me. This would definitely fall under the realm of pretending to be a real person you can easily google.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Sleeping With Cats

Another cat story because I seem to have a lot of them.
Of course the one who wants to sleep on me all the time is the big, hot, heavy one.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Language of Confusion: Mattress and Buttress

Several months ago, I did words that ended in -ress. Two I skipped were mattress and buttress, as they weren’t related to the others. So let’s look at them now! Because I have no other ideas.

Mattress is surprisingly old, having shown up in the late thirteenth century. It comes from the Old French materas, which comes from the Italian word materasso, just mattress. That’s the word that comes from Latin, in this case the Medieval Latin matracium, which in turn was taken from Arabic, where it was al-matrah, cushion. This is especially unusual because Latin prefers stealing its words from Greek.

Buttress first showed up in the early fourteenth century as a noun and the late fourteenth century as a verb. It comes from the Old French arc botrez, flying buttress. Not sure why it had to be flying, but there you go. It’s supposed to be from bouter, to thrust against, a Frankish word from the Proto Germanic butan, which in turn comes from the Proto Indo European bhau-, to strike. Which is the origin word for butt! But not the one that means your rear end. The one that’s part of head butt. Kind of disappointing, really.


Tuesday, May 23, 2017

From The Spamfiles

Might as well, seeing as that’s what the rest of the month has been about!

HOT girls! They’re on fire! Please send an ambulance!

She doesn’t want to be taken advantage of! So give her your social security number.

There is nothing more suspicious than Jennifer spelled with one N and two F’s.

The poor grammar is typical, but usually the cancer widows are better about spelling. She’s going to have to find someone else to distribute her money to keep it from her husband’s adorpted child.

I’m kind of afraid to find out what you’re supposed to do with that apple cider vinegar.

…Spam isn’t even pretending that it’s not directed at serial killers anymore.

Saturday, May 20, 2017


Another frigging update for Windows 10. Spoiler alert, it doesn’t remove the suck.

In all fairness, it wasn’t all terrible. I can scroll in large documents again. Except now for some reason, now the Number Lock won’t turn off so I can’t use the Home and End buttons there…but only when I’m online. In Word, it’s fine. But if I’m typing into an address bar and want to jump to the beginning, it just goes 77777. Unless I hold down the Control button.

It’s so stupid. Microsoft is unmaking Windows 10 one update at a time.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Language of Confusion: -Dur-

Seriously, dur. Because there are words like during and durable, but also endure. What the hell’s the deal with this word?

During, endure, durable, duration, duress,

During showed up in the late fourteenth century as durand, which was the present participle of the verb duren, which we don’t even use anymore. Duren meant to endure, so I guess that’s what replaced it, and it comes from the Old French durer and classical Latin durare, to last. Durare is related to durus, hard, which is from the Proto Indo European dru-ro- or deru, solid or steadfast. It’s the origin word for true. And tree.

Yeah. Words. Next, endure also showed up in the late fourteenth century coming from the Old French endure, which could mean harden, tolerate/bear, or maintain. It’s from the classical Latin indurare, harden. That word is a mix of in-, or in, as we know it as, and durus, which you should recognize from the previous paragraph.

The rest of the words are more dur- with different endings. Durable is another from the late fourteenth century from the Old French durable and classical Latin durabilis, also durable. It’s basically just duras with a different ending, like durable is during with a different ending. Duration is almost exactly the same origin. Fourteenth century, Old French duration, which came to us from the Latin durare via the Medieval Latin durationem (so that’s where we got the -tion part). Finally, duress. Also fourteenth century, Old French duresse, classical Latin duritia, hardness, and obviously that’s from duras.

And that’s the -dur words. Durr.


Tuesday, May 16, 2017


Yes, another entry in what is coincidentally becoming spam month. I got this last week and it was too outlandish not to share right away.

Harsh, right? I honestly thought at first that it was in my spam folder in error, except… there’s something off about it, even beyond the crazy ranting. There’s the fact that they call me by my email address, which, come on, who does that? And it’s so non-specific. Just that I’ve pissed this obvious lunatic off somehow. And apparently so did my sister? Which is even weirder.

Not that she pissed someone off to this level. That I believe. But I’ve mentioned having a sister very, very few times and she doesn’t even have that email address, so there’s no connection there. Like I said, the whole thing is off.

I was suspicious enough about it that I googled first the name (no results) and then the web domain. That got something. Some guy was talking about receiving an almost identical message, including the mention of the sister. It got him in a lot of trouble with his girlfriend, who thought he was cheating on her. Do they just send these out to everyone in hopes that they have a sister? Because there are plenty of people without one.

Then a few days ago I got another one:

Different email address and mostly different name, except for the EJ. The diction is so weird! “I do not know why”, “It does not mean anything” “Have you not heard of hook up?”. Which, by the way, makes this even more preposterous. Perhaps that was the point. Antagonize me until I reveal personal information to disprove that I’m the person they’re looking for. Someone should inform them that I don’t bother arguing with crazy.

Have any of you ever received any spam like this? Any thoughts as to what the point of this thing was?

Saturday, May 13, 2017


My mom is the worst person to shop for. I had it easy the previous few years because I just kept getting her Hunger Games movies, but unfortunately the series finally came to a close. Now I have to think up something else.
Maybe driving me crazy is her present.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Language of Confusion: Ire

This word is prolific. Surprisingly so.

Ire showed up in the fourteenth century and comes from the Old French ire, which means ire. Stop me if I’m going too fast. Before that it was the classical Latin ira, which…yeah, means wrath, so no big leaps here. Ire can be traced all the way back to the Proto Indo European word eis-, which is, like, everywhere. And don’t go thinking that the name Ira is related, because it’s not. The name Jerome is, though!

Also related is irate. It’s way recent, having shown up in 1838, making it less than two hundred years old. It comes from the classical Latin iratus, angry, which of course comes from the above mentioned ira. Other words that are in this family include irascible, which showed up in the late fourteenth century from the Old French irascible and Late Latin irascibilis and classical Latin irasci, also a word for angry and also from ira.

But let’s look back at eis-. It’s also the origin word for the Greek hieros, sacred, which spawned hieroglyphikos, the word that gave us hieroglyph. Also related is hierarchy, which showed up in the late fourteenth century as jerarchie/ierarchie (yes, a J, but I assume it was pronounced as a Y here). It’s from the Old French ierarchie and Medieval Latin hierarchia, the ranked division of angels. And I assume that you’ve figured out that hierarchia comes from hiero.


Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Spam From The Other Side

And by the other side, I mean from the spammer’s point of view. I found this article on the Cracked website that’s an interview with one of the Nigerian spammers who writes the stuff I so frequently post here.

It’s kind of interesting to see why they do what they do and how the police pretty much let them get away with it in exchange for bribes. Also their word for their marks is “maga”, which means dunce. When I found that out, I laughed so hard I cried a little.

Unfortunately, now that Americans are more informed about their scams, the spammers are turning their attention towards other, poorer countries and wiping out peoples’ life savings with a single email. It certainly erases all the amusement of the maga thing.

Anyway, it was an interesting read. And because it wouldn’t be a spam post without spam:

Saturday, May 6, 2017


It’s gross so you can bet cats are involved.
Totally felt like puking, though clearly not as much as the cat did. But that’s one less cricket to keep me up at night.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Language of Confusion: Each And Every One

A bunch more random words that are tied together. At least these ones make sense.

Ever comes from the Old English aefre, which could mean ever or always. No one knows where it came from before that because it has no relatives in any other languages. There is an Old English phrase a to feore, which means for evermore, and they certainly might be related. It also has more of a history, coming from the Proto Germanic aiwo and Proto Indo European aiw-, life, vital force, or eternity (it’s the origin word for eon). And PS, it was Old English that started using ever as an intensifier in words like whenever and wherever.

Next, each. It showed up as the Old English aelc, which is just each. It’s actually short for a-gelic, which literally means always alike. That a- is related to eon, too, as well as aye, which you might think is the agreement one but actually isn’t because there’s apparently another one that means always. But gelic is also where like comes from. Anyway, a-gelic comes from a West Germanic phrase, aiwo galika. I hope you remember where aiwo comes from.

Finally, every showed up in the early thirteenth century as a contraction of the phrase aefre aelc, which is of course a combination of the above two words! Funny, isn’t it? They all started as phrases and turned into words. And every was a phrase from two other phrases! Words are so dumb.

Tony Jebson’s page on the Origins of Old English
Old English-English Dictionary

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

May Goals

Happy Threemilk everyone! It’s the best month out of the year. Not too hot, not too cold, and the bugs aren’t out in full force yet. It’s also finally stopped raining all the time. But that might be a New England thing. Anyway, goals.

April Goals
1. Get at least 5000 words done. I know that’s not a lot, but I’m so busy!
Did this, plus some extra. Woo!

2. Get to work on my side-blog project. I’m going to need to work super hard to get all this done. Thankfully this might be doable since I have some awesome people helping me.
It’s all done, woo! We did a great job. Mostly everyone else, of course : ).

3. Update my etymology page. I don’t want to put it off too long!
An easy one. It’s all up to date up to the question words.

Hey, I did it all. And now I’m really, really tired. Okay, what am I doing this month?

May Goals
1. Write at least 5000 more words. I’d like to have more, but I also want to do some minor editing to make sure the whole thing is working right.

2. Check out some old projects and see if any of them are worth working on.

3. Now that it’s warm enough, spring cleaning.

So these are my plans for Threemilk. What are you up to this month?