Saturday, September 29, 2018


Another Peaches comic. She’s… kind of an inspiration.

I mean, she tries to bury it. She just can’t seem to understand that the sand is supposed to go over the pee and poop. Not on the floor around it.

Yeah. Cats.

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Language of Confusion: Seasonal

Apparently I’ve never done this before. Time to rectify that.

You know how sometimes two words that are spelled the same but have nothing in common turn out to be from different sources? Yeah, well, this is not one of those times. Spring the season, which first showed up in the fifteenth century, is from the verb to spring, like something that would spring up. Before it was spring, it was just called Lent (lencten in Old English), and in the fourteenth century they started calling it “springing time”, when plants would “spring” from the ground. Although really, it doesn’t seem like they do much springing… Anyway, all versions of spring come from the Old English springan, spring or jump, which is from the Proto Germanic sprengan and Proto Indo European sprengh-, from spergh-, to move, hasten or spring.

Summer comes from the Old English sumor, which is just summer. It can be traced back through the Proto Germanic sumra- and Proto Indo European sem-, which also just means summer. So this one stayed pretty consistent through the years.

Ah, the season with two names. Which one do you use? Autumn showed up in the late fourteenth century as autumpne, from the Old French autumpne/automne and classical Latin autumnus, which is also autumn. Fall is much like spring, in that it came from what the plants seem to do. It appeared as another word for the season in the mid seventeenth century, a shortening of “fall of the leaf”. Because leaves fall, we call autumn fall.

Winter comes from the Old English winter, which means… winter. Not much change there. It’s from the Proto Germanic wintruz and is thought to mean literally “the wet season”. The Proto Indo European word for water/wet is wed-/wend-, the source for pretty much everything related to water. I guess snow is wet. I mostly try to avoid it.

Tony Jebson’s page on the Origins of Old English

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

From The Spamfiles

It’s that time again. You know, when I don’t feel like coming up with an original idea.

Wow, a spammer with a man’s name. That might be the first time that’s ever happened.

Honestly, I don’t know which is more disturbing, the fact that the same message is from “your enemy” and “your mother” or the donkey hole comment. Donkey hole? Are they trying to say asshole? That’s a real bad translation job.

…The tongue really creeps me out.

All caps makes it more official.

A spammer saying they don’t want me to reply to them. It’s definitely a different strategy.

Dear god. I was the spammer the entire time!

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Did I Ask?

This… actually happened. I still can’t figure out why.

There’s being a helpful store associate, and then there’s… whatever this is supposed to be, but definitely is not help.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Language of Confusion: Text, Part II

Here’s the rest of the words related to text, even though some of them really don’t look like it.

All. All of them don’t look like it.

Tech is related, although it has a somewhat long path to getting there. See, it first showed up in 1906 as short for “technical college”, and then in 1942 as being short for technician. But that word didn’t show up until 1833, and was a mix of technic and -ian, and actually showed up a couple of decades after technique (the spelling of that is from French, unsurprisingly). Technic is older, having shown up in the early seventeenth century, from the classical Latin technicus, technician or master, taken from the Greek tekhnikos, technical. No matter if it’s technic, the prefix techno-, or technique, all are from teks-, the Proto Indo European word for to weave that’s the origin of all of these words.

What other words are related? Well first of all, there’s subtle. No fooling. It showed up in the fourteenth century (even earlier as a last name, of all things), and back when it first showed up it was actually spelled sotil and meant penetrating or refined. That was from the Old French sotil, which was sometimes spelled soutil and even subtil, so I guess we have the French to thank for the B becoming silent. The word is from the classical Latin subtilis, subtle, a mix of sub-, under, and -tilis, from tela, web. Which of course is where weaving/teks- comes in.

Next on this tour of weirdness is the word tissue, which at least makes sense when you think about tissue being made up of “woven” fibers. It showed up in English in the mid fourteenth century, meaning a “band or belt of rich material”. It comes from the Old French tissu, ribbon, which has a noun form that meant to weave, and of course is from the classical Latin texere, to weave.

Finally today, toil. No, not the toil you’re thinking of. That one means hard work which isn’t related at all. There’s another one, and it means a hunting net—net, weave, web. Makes sense. It showed up in the mid sixteenth century meaning net or snare, from the Old French toile and the Latin tela, which gave us subtle. I didn’t even know that one existed, but if you’ve heard of it and wonder if it’s related to toil, then no, it isn’t, that’s crazy talk.


Tuesday, September 18, 2018

The Loneliest Number

There’s an apple tree outside where I live, and when it’s sprayed properly for bugs, it produces a nice amount of apples (in some cases, A LOT).

This year… not so much.

(Excuse the poor quality; I need a new camera) 

That’s it. That’s all that survived except for one that was so rotten that it wasn’t edible. What happened to the others? Groundhogs. Woodchucks. Whatever you want to call them. Needless to say, I am very disappointed about this.

I need a fence.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Donut Worry

Another true story in the ever increasing list of “Oh my god, Peaches, what have you done now?”

She chewed and licked almost an entire box of donuts. I’ve bought these before and left them on the counter and this hasn’t happened. I don’t know what got into her, but she went nuts for them this time. And the box I got to replace them, which I wisely kept in a drawer.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Language of Confusion: -Text, Part I

Now, I did the word text over five years ago when I did the word test, because it turns out, yeah, they have the same origin. But I neglected to go over the prefixed versions of the word, and now is as good a time as any.

To refresh your memories, text showed up in the late fourteenth century from the Old French texte and Old North French tixte, which mean text. Before that, it was the Medieval Latin textus, which could mean the Scriptures or just plain text, but meant written account in Late Latin. The classical Latin version of the word is textus, which meant “texture of a work” and literally meant “thing woven”. It’s from the verb texere, to weave (and the origin of test), which is traced back to the Proto Indo European root teks-, to weave, fabricate, or make.

Context showed up in the early fifteenth century meaning a composition, not, well, context. The classical Latin version is contexus, context, from contexere, to weave. The con- prefix means with or together, so this word is “to weave together”. Funny how we never use it to just mean a composition anymore. It went from being basically another word for text to the literal meaning of its prefix and suffix.

Pretext showed up in the early sixteenth century from the French prĂ©texte and classical Latin praetextum, which meant pretext or excuse. The prae- is from pre-, in front and with texere, it’s to weave or fabricate in front of. Which is a good explanation for what an excuse is.

Subtext is much more recent, having only shown up in 1950 (!) in reference to acting. Sub- means under, because the times it was used before becoming official in 1950 was to mean “text appearing below other text on a page”. Subtext was once literally under-text. Hypertext is common these days and also very recent, although since it first appeared in 1969, it might be a bit older than you think since it predates the internet. Hyper- is the opposite of sub-, meaning over or above, so hypertext is text over the other text. Just like all these web links I’m giving you.

Texture first showed up in the early fifteenth century, but back then it meant a network or structure, from the Middle French texture and classical Latin textura. Textura has a few different meanings, including texture, workmanship, and a web. It didn’t actually start to mean the texture of something in English until centuries later, if you can believe that. The word textile didn’t show up until the early sixteenth century, although at least it didn’t have some wildly different meanings compared to today. It’s from the classical Latin textilis, woven or textile, which… yeah. That’s what a textile is.

TL;DR: Oh, what a tangled web we weave.


Tuesday, September 11, 2018

September Goals

How are we in September already? Ugh. UGHHHHHHHHH.

Just fifty more weeks until my birthday.

August Goals
1. Work on the new idea rolling around in my head.
I didn’t do as much as I would have liked. Maybe it was just August, but I was feeling especially lazy.

2. Don’t do anything on the WIP. I need a break from it. I know it seems weird to have not doing something as a goal, but I keep feeling tempted to tweak it some more.
Well, I did this. It was pretty easy. But not as easy as…

3. BIRTHDAY! Birthday birthday birthday. Have I mentioned it’s going to be my birthday?
Not enough cake, if I’m being honest.

All right, what do I need to do this month?

September Goals
1. Prepare my WIP (and myself) for beta reads. I cannot believe this is happening.

2. Work on the notes for my new idea.

3. Update my etymology page. It’s been at least three months since the last one.

So that’s what I want to do this month. What are you planning?

Saturday, September 8, 2018

No Kill Like Overkill

Oh, right. Now I remember why I needed a break in the first place.

Then, I don’t know, cause the sun to go nova or something.

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Language of Confusion: Flect

I got the idea for this one during the whole -leg thing. At least this one isn’t going to last forever. I hope.

Deflect showed up in the mid sixteenth century with pretty much the same meaning as today. It comes from the classical Latin deflectere, which could mean deflect ordetour, and it’s a mix of the prefix de-, away, and flectere, to bend. To bend away. Hey, it makes sense! A miracle!

Reflect showed up in the late fourteenth century meaning turn or bend back, then to divert or turn aside. It comes from the Old French reflecter, which is from the classical Latin reflectere, reflect or bend back. Which is literally what it meant. Re- means back and flectere is bend. But that’s not the end of the story.

Yes, reflex is from the same place. But where did that X come from? Reflex first showed up in the sixteenth century meaning a reflection of light, and it came from a verb form that meant refract or deflect—the whole body reflex thing didn’t come around until the nineteenth century, when it was called “reflex action.” The X apparently comes from Late Latin, where the word was reflexus, a bending back, a noun taken from the abovementioned reflectere. Weird how reflex used to refer to light, and now reflect is the one that mostly refers to light.

This word’s mixed up in here, too. Genuflect literally means “to bend the knee”, and it showed up in the seventeenth century, while genuflection showed up earlier, in the fifteenth century. It comes from the Middle French gĂ©nuflexion and Medieval Latin genuflectionem, which is from genu flectere, to bend the knee. Because genu means knee in Latin. And seriously, any Game of Thrones references and you’re not invited to my word parties anymore.

Orbis Latinus

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

One More Day Of Laziness

Meh, wasn’t quite ready to do my goals for this week yet. At the time I’m writing this, it’s almost two weeks ago (hi, future me!) so I’m not quite ready to think about September yet.

So this is really just filler until I can get my brain back into work mode. But at least there will be a post for Thursday. Etymology! Aren’t you excited?

Hello? Anyone there? Is this thing on?

Saturday, September 1, 2018