Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Reflections 2019

What a terrible year. I’d say I’m happy to see it go, but then I start panicking about all the things that I have to do once it’s 2020. Anyone else remember a time where they were able stop screaming in horror for more than five seconds? Because I don’t.

Well, that got darker than I expected. What was I supposed to do this year?

Resolutions 2019
1. Figure out some way to keep my yearly resolutions in mind. Maybe I’ll put them at the top of the file I organize my blog posts in.
I think doing this the day before the year ends does still technically count.

2. Finish the first draft of my new WIP and make my editing plan.
Hey, I did this. Didn’t get as much editing done as I wanted, but I was busy with other projects.

3. (Hopefully) finish my older WIP, and at the very least keep making progress on it.
It’s actually as close as I can get it. It could probably use some more beta reads to be sure, though.

4. Write something new, but not necessarily an entire book. Something smaller.
I did this. And also wrote an entire new book. I’m not sure that’s a fail, though.

5. Start up a new spam blog. I know. It’s the stupidest thing ever. I just think it’s hilarious.
Kind of did this since I’m now posting it on here. Plus that’s so many more blog posts I don’t have to write. Win-win.

6. Arm myself for the upcoming revolution.
It’s taking too long to get here.

7. Be nicer. To the people who are nice. The people who are mean will learn new definitions of pain.
This would probably be the only one I could consider a fail. It’s been a tough year for niceness.

I actually did most of what I wanted to. I’m pleased with that. I just wish things were a little easier. It’d be nice not to have to worry about losing my health insurance or screwing up my taxes.

What did you think of 2019? Did you get anything important done? Are you glad to see it go? And be sure to have a fun night!!!

Saturday, December 28, 2019

Christmas Re-Post #3

Only four more days until the New Year.
Now I only have a cat that actually gives me personal space while I sleep. I don’t know how I’ll survive.

Thursday, December 26, 2019

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Christmas Re-Post #1

AKA it’s the last full week of the year and I’m too lazy to do real posts. I’m not ashamed of this.

And just like with the last holiday, this week is going to be about Veronica, since I will always miss her.
She was always so loud… like an engine.

Saturday, December 21, 2019


Product tracking is great, when it actually works properly.
An item ordered over the internet is always one of two things: “doesn’t exist” or “tried to deliver it, but you weren’t there.”

Thursday, December 19, 2019

Language of Confusion: Gifts

Tis the season, right? Let’s look at where some gifts come from.

Gift showed up in the mid thirteenth century, I assume after give, although give doesn’t actually have a date of origin. Gift is thought to be Scandinavian in origin, like the Old Norse gift/gipt, gift, and before that is definitely from the Proto Germanic geftiz, from geb-, to give, from the Proto Indo European root ghabh-, give or receive. And of course that’s where give is from, just with different word tenses. It’s from the Old English giefan, give, from the Proto Germanic geban, which is also from geb-.

Now let’s look at a common gift that’s given (ha!): game. It showed up in the thirteenth century from the Old English gamen/gamenian, joke or play. It’s descended from Proto Germanic, from two parts: ga-, a “collective prefix”, basically a prefix that indicates a collection/collective; and mann, which means person. So a gaman is a collection of people. And that’s how you have a game. In related words, gamy/gamey is related to game, originally meaning spirited, then morphing to having to do with taste in the sense of hunting wild game. However, there’s also a rarely used definition of game where it’s a synonym for lame, i.e. a game leg. That use of game is not related to the others, and is probably just some sort of slang.

Toy showed up in the fourteenth century meaning, ahem, “amorous playing”, or sport. It actually didn’t mean toy like we use it until the sixteenth century. Unfortunately, not much is known about its origin, and it may be a combination of several different words. There are some similar Germanic words, like the Dutch speeltuig, which means toy, and the Swedish tyg, which means fabric, but we really don’t know where toy came from.

Finally today, how about a type of toy? Like a doll. Doll showed up in the mid sixteenth century, but back then it was only a nickname for Dorothy. In the early seventeenth century, it became slang for a girlfriend or lover, but then by the mid sixteenth century, it basically meant a slut. And then somehow when the eighteenth century rolled around, it was used for a child’s toy baby, and by the end of the century, it was once again back to being used as a term for pretty or silly women, so in a slightly more favorable light. Of course, if you try to use it on a woman these days, you’re liable to get punched in the mouth (deservedly so) for being patronizing. Wow, this word really went on a crazy journey.

Tony Jebson’s page on the Origins of Old English

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

From The Spamfiles

The last spam of the year. I can’t believe it’s happening already.

Oh no. The Love Swans are after me again.

I’m… not sure why that’s something to congratulate someone over.

I think this person’s usage of emojis should be a crime. Maybe not a felony, but at least a misdemeanor.

Calling an Asian woman “exotic” is super, super problematic. I’d avoid that in the future, spammers.

Sooooo. Is this two different people (Lisa and Lissa) or did she just straight up spell her own name wrong? 

The ladies are really after me this week. I better go hide.

Saturday, December 14, 2019

Search History

I swear, it’s for research.

This is all research for one of my WIPs. It also will look really, really bad to anyone who happens to see it.

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Language of Confusion: I’m Cold Right Now

Seriously, I was chilly so that’s what inspired this. I’ve done cold words before, but not these ones!

Frost comes from the Old English frost, which could also be spelled forst (and both meant frost), because… I don’t know. Because. Both words were common until the late fifteenth century, where frost won the battle, I guess. The words are from the Proto Germanic frustaz, frost, which is from the verb form freusanan, to freeze. That word comes from the Proto Indo European preus-, to freeze or to burn. Speaking of freeze…

Freeze wasn’t actually how the word used to be spelled. It used to be freese or friese, coming from the Middle English fresen and Old English freosan, to freeze. That word was taken from the Proto Germanic freusan, to freeze, from the verb freus-, which is also related to the abovementioned preus-. As for why its past tense is frozen… there’s no good explanation for that. Sorry, that’s an unsatisfying answer, isn’t it?

A lot of these words start with “fr”, don’t they? Frost and freeze are related, so that makes sense, but frigid? Nope. Frigid showed up in the early seventeenth century from the classical Latin frigidus, which is just cold. It’s actually from the Proto Italic word srigos-, yes, an S! and that’s from the Proto Indo European srig-, cold. Come on! How do you get from an S to an F???

I’m going with this tense because it’s actually the first to show up in English, back in the late fifteenth century—refrigerate was in the early sixteenth century and refrigerator not until the early seventeenth century. Refrigeration is from the classical Latin regrigerationem, which means cooling, as the re- means again and the rest is from the verb frigerare, to make cool. That word happens to be from frigidus, which means refrigeration is from the same place as frigid. At least that one makes sense.

And I think that’ll be it for this week. I’m cold and tired.

Tony Jebson’s page on the Origins of Old English

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

From The Spamfiles

Lots of spam in the comments this past week. Which is weird, since it’s been months since I’ve gotten even one.

Of course it has a link to buying a vacuum cleaner. If you’ll recall, the post was about a cat.

Look at this! That’s sixteen comments on posts from years ago. All in the space of about ten
minutes. I practically had a heart attack when I opened my mail and found so many messages waiting for me. Then I realized. Oh. Spam.

This is what is in each of those comments. According to Google Translate, this is Indonesian, and the words are convection (konveksi), jacket (jaket), sell/sale (jual), store (toko), and arrowroot (garut). I think they might be trying to sell me jackets.

Now for some traditional repetitive, unending spam. I like how everything is the same except those weird hashtags at the end. What are those about?

I feel like if I ever learn what this really refers to, I’ll never be able to look at chocolate or whip cream again.

Quick! Without confirmation, they can’t capitalize normally!

Saturday, December 7, 2019

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Secret Origins: November

Aw, we’re almost done with these. I’m actually quite bummed about that—which is why it’s been over a year since I’ve done one, as I’ve been trying to stretch them out. I’ve done the days of the week, and now almost all the months. What else can I do???

Seriously. I’m asking.

As a word, November showed up in the thirteenth century from the Old French novembre and classical Latin November/Novembris mensis, which I assume you all know just means month of November. The novem is just nine, because November used to be the ninth month in the March-starting calendar, while the -bris is just a suffix for adjectives. Which makes it kind of weird that it’s used for the end of month names, but whatever.

Now, in Old English, November was the far, far cooler Blotmonað, which literally translates to blood sacrifice month, because it was the month where the Saxons sacrificed animals for winter and butchered them for food. That is even cooler than the original name for October, winterfylleþ.

I cannot believe we can be calling November Bloodmonth and we’re for some reason not. This is how you know the world is not a fair and just place.

Tony Jebson’s page on the Origins of Old English

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

December Goals

Ugh, November. UGGGGHHHHH. I am glad to see it gone considering how my body basically imploded on me. What was I even supposed to do this month?

November Goals
1. Finish the rewrites and reorganizing for WIP-1, then hopefully get it out to more beta readers.
I was able to do the first part of this, although not the second. I kind of got exhausted so I wasn’t able to ask people if they’d be willing to look at it. Ugh, November.

2. Edit the synopsis and et al. and get some help looking at that, too.
No, I had too many other things to worry about to get to this. Nuts, I really wanted it done.

3. Thanksgiving! So I’ll have to deal with that, too. Hopefully it will provide me with a much needed recharge and not total dread.
I really should have known better.

Okay, what should I do this month?

December Goals
1. Get WIP-1 out to beta readers (any volunteers?) and actually work on the synopsis and stuff.

2. Edit WIP-2. Man, I can’t believe this sounds like the easier goal.

3. Christmas! New Years! Please let it be a nice break!

I wonder how much I can do this month. What are your plans?

Saturday, November 30, 2019

Thanksgiving Away Post #3

I can’t even count how many times this happened.
What do you mean you’re trying to write? You should always be paying attention to a cat!

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Thanksgiving Away Post #2

More cat pictures! Or picture, really.
She never did fit in that box as well as Peaches did.

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Thanksgiving Away Post #1

Since I never feel like doing a real post the week of Thanksgiving, I figured I’d post some pictures of my dearly departed Veronica to keep you occupied.

Isn’t she cute?

Saturday, November 23, 2019

A Small Favor

This is why I hate doing favors, particularly for my mom.
Anything she asks me to do always turns into a big production. Every. Time.

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Language of Confusion: Payment, Part II

Back to this!

Coin showed up in the fourteenth century, but back then it only meant a “wedge-shaped piece used for some purpose”. See, the thing that stamped metal—such as coins—was wedge-shaped, and so in the fourteenth century it evolved to mean something stamped or a stamped piece of metal made into money. That usage was influenced by Old French, which is also the language coin comes from, although there it’s coing. It comes from the classical Latin cuneus, which means wedge (also it can mean “group”, but that’s not really relevant here). Fun fact, there is also a word “quoin” which I hadn’t heard of before but means a cornerstone or the corner of a wall—generally something wedge-shaped. It’s literally just a variant spelling of coin that stuck close to its original meaning.

Currency is relatively recent, having shown  up in the mid seventeenth century meaning… a condition of flowing. Like the current of a river. Yeah, this is another weird stretch of the word. Currency meant a “state of fact flowing from person to person”, you follow? Which evolved to a sense of “continuity in public knowledge” and then the current medium or exchange of money in the eighteenth century. Basically, anything that was currently money was currency. The word comes from the classical Latin currens, current, and its verb form currere, to run, which is descended from the Proto Indo European word kers-, to run. And that’s definitely a word we’ll have to look into sometime.

Capital in terms of money showed up in the early seventeenth century, from the Medieval Latin capitale, stock or property, and classical Latin capitalis, capital, chief, or first. Every other version of capital comes from there, too, although this isn’t too surprising since they all refer to something that’s foremost, whether a capital letter or a capital city. Hell, even capital, the head of a column or a pillar, is related because it’s the head of the column or pillar. I guess people thought of their wealth and property as being the principal thing in their lives. Yeah, I can see it.

Speaking of wealth, it showed up in the mid thirteenth century, where in addition to meaning “prosperity in abundance of possessions or riches”, it meant happiness, another thing I can understand all too well. The word is actually from the Middle English wele, well being, which actually spawned another word I’ve never heard of: weal. That word is wela in Old English, meaning prosperity, from the West Germanic welon-, from the Proto Indo European wel-, to wish or to will. Wealth is related to both will and well, because when you’re doing well and have the things you wish, you’re wealthy.

Tony Jebson’s page on the Origins of Old English

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

From The Spamfiles

It’s Spam Time!

I only date people who use proper spelling and grammar. (Also, this is so stalker-ish)

I love animals! But I am not nor will I ever be someone’s boyfriend.

I actually started getting spam about CBD oil before you couldn’t turn around without tripping over someone shouting at you about it. Spam can be a good predictor in that regard. If there’s a fad brewing, it will absolutely wind up in your spam box before you know it.

You message and you ask. And don’t forget, you enter your credit card info.

I love how there’s a random M and Y capitalized, just so you’re absolutely sure that it’s definitely spam. Or possibly a coded message. But far more likely spam.

“Looks like I’m popular”? That’s a damned lie and you know it.

Huh. Nothing for Greg this week. I hope nothing happened to him.

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Language of Confusion: Payment, Part I

Not a big multiparter. I think.

Pay showed up in the thirteenth century from the Old French paier, to pay or pay up. That word is from the classical Latin pacare, to pacify, and I mean, yeah, you can definitely pacify someone by paying them. That pacare actually comes from pax, peace, which is the origin for peace and can be traced to the Proto Indo European pag-, tofasten. Which obviously needs to be looked at closer. But that’s for another post.

Money showed up in the mid thirteenth century as monie, meaning funds or anything that can be converted into money before settling to mean cash. It’s from the classical Latin moneta, money, which is actually from Moneta (with a capital M), a title or surname for the Roman goddess Juno Moneta. See, it just so happened that she had a temple near where money was coined and precious metal stored. That Moneta actually comes from the verb monere, which actually means to warn and is actually related to monitor. So because money was made near Juno’s temple, we have money.

Cash actually didn’t show up until the late sixteenth century, and get this, it first meant a money box, not meaning what we know it as until later (before the eighteenth century, where the new definition was the only one people knew it as). Cash comes from the Middle French caisse, money box, from the Provençal caissa or Italian cassa, cash desk, derived from the classical Latin capsa, box. Oh, and that capsa is from case. Remember all those weeks we spent going over those words? Not really sure why I didn’t mention cash, but there it is. And, to specify, it’s related to the version of case that comes from the Proto Indo European kap-, to grasp.

Finally today, bill. Obviously not like a bill you’d find on a duck. In a shocking moment of sense, that’s not related at all. Bill showed up in the late fourteenth century meaning a written statement before morphing to a formal document or a personal letter, and then a order of payment in the late sixteenth century, and then finally a paper bill in the mid seventeenth century. It comes from the Anglo French bille, from the Anglo Latin billa, a writing or a list, from the Medieval Latin bulla, decree or sealed document. It’s funny because in classical Latin, bulla could mean boss… or bubble. Basically, a bulla was a round knob, like an amulet, which is like a seal, so it was a sealed document, and that starts the crazy convoluted journey to it being a dollar bill.


Tuesday, November 12, 2019

From The Spamfiles

I love posts that I don’t have to think about. These are just so easy.

Compliment of the day! Whoops, I’m sorry. Complement of the day. I guess it balances out the day instead of praising it.

I think these Greg messages are getting lazier.

A butterfly in your stomach? Just one? How vaguely disturbing.

If I didn’t want the subscription, why would I confirm it? I hate it when the spammers don’t logically think things through.

That sounds more like a her problem than a me problem.

Okay, why is the little symbol after Snapcheat a hurricane? What could this possibly be referring to??? Why is this bothering me so much????????

Saturday, November 9, 2019

Automatic Vacuum

My mom has had this vacuum cleaner problem recently.
The vacuum’s name is Jasper. He’s about nine months old, so he’s basically a teenage boy eating everything in sight. And he never shuts up. But he’s so handsome.
This picture really doesn’t do justice to his eyes. They’re a dark, vibrant orange. He could be a model.

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Language of Confusion: Choices

Here’s a bunch of words that are synonyms and I haven’t etymologized before.

Choice showed up in the mid fourteenth century, replacing the Old English word cyre, choice. It comes from the Old French chois, from the verb choisir, to choose, and is thought to be Frankish, or have some other Germanic origin, but it’s not really certain from where. Oh, and while it is related to choose, it’s not that related. Choose comes from the Old English ceosan, choose (and would have been pronounced “che-ozan”). That word is definitely Proto Germanic, coming from keus-, from the Proto Indo European geus-, to taste or to choose. Choice is obviously also from geus-, its origins are just murky.

Opt showed up fairly recently, in 1877, coming from the French opter, opt, and classical Latin optare, which is also opt. Option is older, having shown up in the seventeenthcentury. Once again the origin is French, where the word is option, and means option (stop me if I’m going too fast for you). The Latin version is optionem, and again, that’s just option and also from optare. It’s origin before there is unknown, although one there is that it’s from the Proto Italic opeje-, choose or grab. I know what you’re thinking. It makes sense, right? Which is why you should be suspicious.

Pick showed up in the early thirteenth century, except back then, it only had to do with the tool. It wasn’t until the early fourteenth century that it started to mean “to pluck with the fingers”, which by the end of the century turned into picking out something. So because fingers pick at something when choosing, pick became, well, pick. As for its origins, it’s thought to be a mix of the Old English pician, to prick, and the Old Norse pikka, to prick or peck. Both words are thought to be Germanic in origin, although it’s not known exactly where they’re from.

Annnnd I think that’ll be it for today. I know! So brief! Enjoy this rare treat.

Tony Jebson’s page on the Origins of Old English

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

November Goals

It’s November! What am I going to do this month? Well, first I need to see what I was supposed to do last month…

October Goals
1. Work on notes and edit WIP-1. I have some rewrites to do, and reorganizing, then I need to get more people to read it. Hint hint.
I did all this! Then I got more notes that made me realize I needed to change a bunch more stuff! Which I didn’t do! It’s never ending.

2. Start an editing plan for WIP-2 and possibly start editing that, depending on how much free time I have.
I did do this, although of course I’m berating myself for not doing MORE.

3. Start writing things like query letters, taglines, and synopses for WIP-1. I can’t believe it’s finally come to this.
I did this as well. Of course, they’re terrible because these are just the worst things ever. I’ll probably need people to give me notes on these as well. Ugh.

It’s not bad, I just wish I hadn’t run out of steam towards the end of the month. I’d open my WIP and just stare at it because I had no energy to work on it, which is a total bummer. I hate it when I go through these low periods.

Anyway, November…

November Goals
1. Finish the rewrites and reorganizing for WIP-1, then hopefully get it out to more beta readers.

2. Edit the synopsis and et al. and get some help looking at that, too.

3. Thanksgiving! So I’ll have to deal with that, too. Hopefully it will provide me with a much needed recharge and not total dread.

Let’s see what the month will hold. What do you guys have planned?

Saturday, November 2, 2019

As It Turns Out, Quite Well

There’s nothing Peaches likes more than being in the way.
Except for being cozy and in the way.

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Language Of Confusion: Gourd-geous

Shut up, I’m proud of that name.

Since it’s Halloween (!!!), why not look at the origin of the word pumpkin, and other gourds that pop up this time of year?

First of all, gourd itself showed up in the fourteenth century from the Anglo French gourde and Old French coorde, which can then be traced to the classical Latin cucurbita, which just means gourd or pumpkin. It’s origin before there is unknown, although some people think it might be related to the word for cucumber: cucumis. Spelling-wise that makes sense, but the first lesson you should learn about etymology is that it never makes sense.

Pumpkin itself showed up in the mid seventeenth century, although it did appear in English before that as pompone/pumpion. No K though. It comes from the Middle French pompon and classical Latin pepon, watermelon. They of course took that from the Greek pepon, which means melon, and is thought to be related to peptein, to cook, descended from the Proto Indo European pekw-, cook or ripen. This one makes even less sense than usual.

Now, squash. Like the food, not what you do to something. Because those aren’t related at all. Remember what I said about etymology making no sense? See, the gourd showed up in the mid seventeenth century, coming from the Narraganset askutasquash, “the things that may be eaten raw”. It’s just a coincidence that it happens to be the same as squashing something, although I’m sure the fact that it was already a word in English helped people decide to just call that type of gourd a “squash”.

Finally today, zucchini showed up fairly recently, in the early twentieth century. It’s from the Italian zucchino, zucchini, from zucca, which means… pumpkin. We’ve come full circle.


Tuesday, October 29, 2019

From The Spamfiles

Pre-Halloween spam!

Erasmo wants to tell Greg the thruth!

What even are those emojis? Like the first one… okay maybe they’re hands. I’m not really sure. But the second one? It looks like Pac-Man throwing up after a long night of drinking. I have no idea what that’s supposed to be.

Gasp! Not unmatched details!

In order to respect terms and conditions, I have to confirm “wither” I’m a subscriber. I’m sure if I click no, they’ll never bother me again.

Wow. I can’t even begin to tell you how wrong you are.

Danial Daniels. A name that was definitely not made up at the last minute and then spelled wrong.

May you will be a weekly winner.