Thursday, December 27, 2018

Words I Will Never Know How to Spell

It’s the last Thursday of the year, and as always I’m looking at words in a slightly different fashion. This year: words that I will never know how to spell. Come on, it’s in the post title.

Heads up: having French genes does not make you able to spell French words (I guess linguistics can’t be passed down that way). Also, why the hell is this word so freaking hard to get right?! Seriously, what is with French and letters? “Let’s throw an O in there!” “Shall we pronounce it?” “No, what are you, crazy?”

I think it’s the S and the C in this one that really screw me up. This is why I hate the letter C. It’s so pointless. It’s designed to make you not know how to use it. Is it pronounced? Silent? A K sound? An S? A ch?

I suppose that this might be embarrassing to admit, but I always forget either the L or the F. It’s all those consonants in a row! Sometimes it seems like the F isn’t even vocalized, and I know there’s a linguistic word for that although I can’t think of it off the top of my head and don’t feel like looking it up.

I am just always convinced there’s an A in there somewhere. Secretary uses the same vowel pronunciations but has an A in the end. Why not cemetary? I mean cemetery. I just did it again. Not making this up. I totally spelled it wrong in my post about spelling it wrong as I’m looking at the correct spelling of the word.

I never remember that there are two N’s. Or sometimes I spell it with the two N’s, but only one L. I will never, ever get it right on the first try unless I look it up.

So that’s all I can think of, but what about you? What words do you never get right?

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Reflections 2018

It’s Christmas, but it’s also the last Tuesday of the year and obviously it’s more important for me to stick to my schedule than put up a filler post. I mean, have you met me? Sticking to schedules is what I do.

If this year was any rougher I’d be in court pointing to where it hurt me on a doll. Saying it was better than last year is like saying being stabbed is better than being shot. I’d rather not have either!

Anyway, this is what I had planned for the year:

Resolutions 2018
1. Figure out some way to better keep track of my goals and resolutions. I used to use a sticky note on my desktop, but I hate it looking cluttered…
I went back to the sticky note. I guess it’s not the worst. It does help me remember what I should be doing.

2. Write a new book.
I’m more than halfway done with the first draft, so it’s getting there!

3. Actually finish a book this year!
I didn’t, although not for lack of trying. I worked really hard to get it to the point where it could have beta readers, and there are still a million things I have to do with it!

4. Once again, try to eat better. Cut back on sugar, and whatnot.
Yeah. No.

5. Takeover/destroy the world. Which it’ll be will probably depend on my mood.
It’s probably a good thing for people that I’m too lazy to get off my ass and do this, because it definitely would have been destroy.

6. Find something fun to do in my spare time. I need more fun. We all need more fun.
Meh, kind of. I bought new games to play. That counts.

7. Write something every day. Well, at least this will be easy.
Pretty close to it, yeah.

I guess it was a successful year in terms of writing, but that’s where it ends. What a nightmare 2018 has been. Wake me when the revolution begins because I’m going to go sleep forever.

Have a nice holiday! Or Tuesday, if that’s what you’re celebrating.

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Language of Confusion: Baked Goods

This will probably be the last real etymology post of the year. Enjoy it!

Pie showed up in the mid fourteenth century, or maybe even older than that because in the twelfth century there was a thing called a piehus that meant bakery. It comes from the Medieval Latin pie, which was meat or fish enclosed in a pastry instead of delicious baked fruit. It might be related to the Medieval Latin pia, which meant pie or pastry, but you know how words can be weirdly not related at times. It also might be related to pica, which means… magpie. Which was once just called pie in English. So that answers that question that no one thought to ask.

Cookie showed up in the early eighteenth century from Scottish, but back then it meant a plain bun and it’s not actually sure that it’s related to what we know as a cookie. It wasn’t that until 1808, and that was actually taken from the Dutch koekje, little cake, which is from koke, their word for cake. Speaking of which…

Cake showed up in the early thirteenth century meaning flat or thin baked dough and replacing the Old English word for cake, coecel. It comes from the Old Norse kaka and West Germanic kokon- (which is where the above mentioned koke comes from). It was once thought that it was related to the classical Latin coquere, to cook, but they no longer believe that anymore. Don’t ask me why.

Pudding showed up in the fourteenth century meaning, get this, a kind of sausage. We didn’t use it to mean a pudding like we know it until 1670, when it started to mean other foods that were “boiled or steamed in a bag or sack”. Which sounds pretty nasty to me. Pudding might be from the West Germanic pud-, to swell, or the Old French boudin, sausage, but it’s another one that no one is really sure about.

Fun fact, in the sixteenth century brownie meant a “benevolent goblin supposed to haunt old farmhouses in Scotland”. It wasn’t until 1897 that it actually meant a brownie. We don’t have a real explanation as to why, but I’m assuming it’s because it’s brown.

Obviously there’s a lot more besides these, but they’ll have to wait for another time. Go list your favorite delicious baked good in the comments!

Tony Jebson’s page on the Origins of Old English

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

The Last Spam

It’s last in the sense that it’s the last spam posts I put up on my Tumblr, but hopefully not the last ever. I’d like to find some way to continue it. Mostly because I have just so much more left on my hard drive and I’d feel really stupid for collecting it if I didn’t at least post it.

Spot the Red Flags!
1. They call me “customer”, when these places always call you by the name on your account.
2. “…your payment information we hold on record” sounds off, like they didn’t quite get the translation right.
3. They forgot to capitalize the name of their company. Even if it was only once, that is suspicious as hell.
4. The most obvious: my Netflix account is not connected to that email address.

If I’m fed up with fake dating, somehow I don’t think your website is going to help me.

The secret to managing your blood sugar: putting spaces between every letter in every sentence.

Honestly, I have the opposite problem. If I tried this stuff I’d go full yeti.

Look at this totally super real new follower I got on Twitter! Not a single thing weird about it, from the series of weird numbers after the name, to the fact that his name is “Gonzalez Jonathan” instead of “Jonathan Gonzalez”, to the fact that he has “sugar baby” as the only words in his profile.

It wouldn’t be spam if there wasn’t at least one cancer widow. Granted, she doesn’t actually say that she has cancer or that she’s a widow, but the spirit is there.

Saturday, December 15, 2018

This Actually Happened

This occurred while I was with my mom helping with all the baking for Thanksgiving. Remember when I told you about the cat she got from my sister?
She cuddled like a baby. It was ridiculous.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Language of Confusion: Fire

Honestly, I might be doing this one because I’m cold. So very cold.

I actually did fire already, but it was one of the first etymology posts I ever did and focused more on the difference between fire and fiery and why they’re stupidly spelled so different. I already explained the spelling thing in my other post, but here’s a refresher: it wasn’t spelled fire until the thirteenth century at the earliest, and before that it was spelled fier. For some reason the spelling changed for that, but not for the adjective version of the word, because words are weird.

Fire comes from the Old English fyr, which was pronounced the same way anyway. Before that it was the Proto Germanic fur and Proto Indo European perjos, from the root paewr, which also means fire, as well as egni-, another word for fire. Yes, they had two. One was for “inanimate” fire, one was for “animate” fire. I’m not really sure how you distinguish them, but that’s why we have the words fire, pyro, and ignite.

Pyro-, as well as related words pyre, pyrite, and others, is from the Greek pyr, fire, which is from paewr-. Ignite showed up in the seventeenth century (ignition showed up a little earlier) from the classical Latin ignitus, the past participle of ignire, to ignite.

But there are other words to look at. Flame has a completely separate origin, coming from the Middle English flaume (noun) and flaumen (verb). The words are from the Anglo French flaume/flaumbe or flaumer/flamber, hence the word flambé, and come from the classical Latin flammula, little flame, from the Proto Indo European bhel-, shine, flash or burn, and origin of words like black and bleach and just so many others. Such as blaze, which comes from the Old English blaese, a flame or blast, from the Proto Germanic blas, which was taken from bhel- also.

Tl;dr: we have a lot of words for fire.

Tony Jebson’s page on the Origins of Old English

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

The Snap

Maybe you’ve heard about this, maybe you haven’t. Tumblr was dropped from Apple’s app store for the appearance of child porn on their website and as a result they decided to ban all adult content (although in fact this had been brewing for a while, the Apple thing just prompted them to do it sooner). While getting rid of child porn is dear god always a good thing, keep in mind that this website has a TON of users who have been advocating for child abuse and Tumblr has done nothing—nothing—to stop them. People report them all the time and nothing happens! No bans, no deletions. But the second Apple snaps its fingers, uh-oh, better ban all adult content because that will also somehow double their user base. I’m not making that up. They think that’s how it will work. It’s been likened to Thanos’s snap in Infinity Wars due to both how arbitrary it hits people and how ineffective it is in achieving the professed goal.

As someone who has actually been on Tumblr, I know for a fact that there are a huge amount of porn bots. They’re like, half my followers. I don’t really care because I’m not stupid enough to engage them and frankly, they’re spam, and that’s literally what my blog is about. But in Tumblr’s pervious attempt to curb the porn bots and adult content, literally nothing happened to them. But you know what does happen? Click here for an example of the posts that get flagged. Yeah. Not porn. Not adult.

And go take a look at Tumblr’s announcement about what’s no longer going to be allowed after December 17. First of all, female presenting nipples? So does this mean that if the nipples have mustaches, they’re okay? Or is it just an excuse to be able to single out trans people easier? Spoiler alert, it’s the latter. LGBTQA+ people already get flagged for “adult content” all the time so you can bet this so called algorithm is going to screw them over even more, and this is especially bad considering that Tumblr was a major place where they connected and shared with each other. But you know what isn’t banned or restricted on Tumblr at all? White supremacists. You can’t find any boobs and the chronic pain tag is banned, but want to kill all POC? Go right ahead.

For the kids, right?

I’m bummed about this. I generally enjoyed my time on there. It kept me up to date on the freshest of memes. So what’s going to happen to the Spamfiles after December 17. I don’t know, but I don’t think it’ll be on Tumblr anymore. It does occasionally mention sex after all. What a sad way to end the year.

Saturday, December 8, 2018


I must confess: I don’t actually like coffee. I think it’s been twenty years since I last had a cup. But then my mom’s coffee maker broke.
She did order a new one anyway, which was good because the old one didn’t sound quite right. But she at least got to have her morning coffee until it got there.

Oh, and that absolutely was her response when I told her it worked for me. The only difference is that it was by text, not voice, and definitely wasn’t censored. It’s just easier to convey that way in comic form.

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Secret Origins: 7

We’re going on seven months since the last time I did one of these. How appropriate.

As a word, seven comes from the Old English seofon, which in spite of the f was pronounced pretty much the same way. It comes from the Proto Germanic sebum and Proto Indo European septm, which also meant seven in spite of the fact that a b and a p are very obviously not a v or an f. No idea why they changed. They just did, and you can see it in words like September, not to mention the replacement of the s with an h in the prefix hepta- (you can thank Greek for that).

As for the numeral, the earliest version is the Brahmi version, which actually looks quite similar to our seven. In Hindu it looked a lot more like a 6 lying on its back, and then the Arabic version is like a v. When the numeral system migrated to Europe, a lot of different places used different versions of numbers, so it could look like a v or y a 7 depending on where you were. Which makes sense. It’s not like they were constantly connected to the internet back then. Places could go years or decades without interacting with each other. Who would have thought to standardize anything?

Tony Jebson’s page on the Origins of Old English

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

December Goals

What a mess this month was. As anyone who follows me on twitter is aware, I got sick after Thanksgiving. Boy, did that suck. Anyway, back to the goals.

November Goals
1. Keep searching for beta readers.
At least this wasn’t affected by me being sick. Still could use more.

2. Get up to 40K on my new WIP (already at about 18K, so this is certainly possible).
I wasn’t able to meet this goal. I was on track until I got sick. I had to use all my energy to do the stuff I had to do instead of the stuff I wanted to do. It was such a bummer.

3. <shudder> Thanksgiving.
Ugh, I’m so glad this is done.

And that’s it for November. What about December?

December Goals
1. Hopefully get beyond 50K in the WIP.

2. Update my etymology page before it gets out of hand.

3. Ugh, now we have Christmas.

So that’s what I’m planning for the last month of 2018. What are you going to do? Any holiday/end of the year plans?