Saturday, March 30, 2019


I wasn’t even doing anything strenuous!
Seriously, I was bending over to move something and I felt something pull in my back. I suppose this isn’t as bad as the time a back spasm woke me in the middle of the night, BUT STILL.

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Language of Confusion: Can I Get A Witness? Part III

This week, it’s getting a lot more what-the-hell. And yet not as what-the-hell as it’s going to get. Remember, all these words trace back to the Proto Indo European weid- (to see) in some way.

Visage showed up in the fourteenth century from the Anglo French and Old French visage, face or portrait. It comes from vis, face, which is from the classical Latin visus, a sight. That’s from the verb videre, to see, which you would know if you read my previous posts.

Provide first showed up in the early fifteenth century from the classical Latin providere, to provide. The pro- prefix means forward, while videre means to see. To provide is to see forward, to plan ahead. The word purvey actually comes from the same place, just a different route. It showed up in the late thirteenth century from the Anglo French porveire/purveire and Old French porveoir, to provide. Which is also from providere. Purveying is also seeing forward!

Guise showed up in the late thirteenth century meaning a style or fashion of clothes, which from there morphed into mask or disguise in the sixteenth century. It comes from the Old French guise, manner, fashion, and was thought to be traced from the Proto Germanic wison, appearance or manner. So hey. Not all the words French stole were Latin. And that’s from weid-. Disguise is also from the same place. It showed up in the fourteenth century from the Old French desguiser, with the des- being from dis-, meaning away or off. A disguise is away from a guise.

Next, guide. Yes, really. It showed up in the late fourteenth century from the Old French guider. Much like guise, it’s Germanic in origin, from the Proto Germanic witanan, to look after or guard. The G (and I assume the G in guise) was influenced by Old Provençal (the dialects of the Provençal regions of France) guidar or the Italian guidare. I guess they liked their G’s.


Tuesday, March 26, 2019

From The Spamfiles

Let’s see what spam I have for you this week…

What should I pick on? The fact that is promises it’s “100-%” legal? The sprout and bouquet emojis? Or that it just says “congratulation” and that is suspicious as hell?

The dollar sign is after the number. It’s a scam.

Except for being slightly wordy, this one’s almost believable. You’d think Netflix would remember to capitalize their own name, though. Also that the account I use isn’t connected to that email address.

Not a negative item! They may have run a background check? Nooooooo! All my plans are ruined!

I can one hundred percent guarantee you that I don’t care.

The name “Love Swans” always weirds me out. I’ve never thought of swans as being particularly loving.

Saturday, March 23, 2019


True story. 
I am never going to know the reason it was there and that bugs me so much.

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Language of Confusion: Can I Get A Witness? Part II

This week, more words that are related to the Proto Indo European weid-, to see. Some of them almost make sense!

Visit showed up in the thirteenth century from the Old French visiter and classical Latin visitare, which just means to visit. It’s related to videre, to see, which I mentioned last week as being related to vision and is derived from the above mentioned weid-. To see becoming to visit makes sense, since when you’re visiting someone you’re going to see them, right?

Next, evident showed up in the late fourteenth century from the Old French evident and classical Latin evidentem, evident, so we’re not seeing any big changes here either. Break it down and you have ex-, out, and videntem, seeing or sighted and from videre.

Wise comes from the Old English wis, which just means wise so no big leaps here. Before that it was the Proto Germanic wissaz, which was taken from the Proto Indo European wittos, which is an adjective form of weid-. The other form of wise, that’s part of words like clockwise, is also from the same place, just with a slightly different origin, being from the Proto Germanic wison instead. There’s also wisdom, which comes from the Old English wisdom and means wisdom (stop me if I’m going too fast for you), and is just wis- plus a suffix that means a state of. And don’t forget wizard, which showed up in the early fifteenth century from the Middle English wys (basically the same as wis) and -ard, which is kind of a weird word forming element that can mean names or pejoratives.

Finally today, advice and advise both showed up in the late thirteenth century, but back then advise meant to view or to consider, not taking on the current definition until a century later, probably influenced by the fact that advice (auys, back then) meant opinion. The words come from the Old French aviser, consider, and avis, opinion, which instead of being a prefix and a root word is from a phrase, ço m’est á vis, “it seems to me”. The vis part is derived from the classical Latin word visum, which is once again from videre, but it’s funny what a journey it went through to get here. Oh, and for the record, no, vice and vise aren’t related. That would be ridiculous.

And that’s all for this week, but no worries. There’s plenty of more weirdness to come.

Tony Jebson’s page on the Origins of Old English

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

From The Spamfiles

Yeah, here we go again.

Uh-oh. Look at me. I’m ignoring this!

Heart eyes emoji, really? You don’t think that might be overstating your windows a bit?

Don’t trust them, Greg. “Your cash is arrived” isn’t grammatically correct!

I can say with one hundred percent certainty that no, I do not want it.

I believe that someone named Cheryle would spell truth incorrectly.

This was received on Tumblr. Yeah, their crackdown on all things sex related really did a good job getting rid of the porn bots.

Saturday, March 16, 2019


Sometimes it’s just one of those days, and something occurs to you and you can’t stop thinking about it.
I know that there’s some linguistic explanation for it, but that’s just not good enough!

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Language of Confusion: Can I Get A Witness? Part I

These days, we really only know wit as a noun—someone has wit, but it’s not something they do. But it did used to be a verb meaning “to know”, too. The noun comes from the Old English witt, where it could mean understanding, sense, or sanity. That comes from the Proto Germanic wit-, from the Proto Indo European root weid-, to see (as in to understand or know, which makes sense for the evolution of the word). The verb has a pretty similar origin, coming from the Old English witan, to know (and it could also mean to have sex with, which I find way too amusing). In Proto Germanic the word is witanan, to have seen, and that comes from weid- as well. Witness happens to be a mix of wit + -ness, which is a word forming element that indicates action or a quality of something. It’s from the Old English witnes, witness. A witness is someone who knows something.

But there’s so much more than that. A lot of words come from weid-, many of them having to do with sight, appropriately enough. Visual showed up in the early fifteenth century from the Late Latin visus, the past participle of the verb videre. Vision is older, having shown up in the fourteenth century via the Anglo French visioun and Old French vision. In classical Latin, the word is visionem, vision, which is also from videre, to see. It shouldn’t surprise anyone to learn that videre is from weid-. No explanation as to why they switched from a W sound to a V sound, though. And fun fact, video is one of the more recent words we’ve come across, having shown up in 1935. It was coined as the equivalent to audio (which itself only showed up in 1934) as people started using audio and visual transmission. It comes from the Latin video, I see, so we were still stealing words from the so-called dead language as recent as a hundred years ago.

Next, view showed up in the early fifteenth century as a formal inspection or survey before meaning seeing something in general. It’s from the Anglo French vewe, view, and Old French veue, light, look, or vision. The verb form, veoir, means to see, and comes from the Latin videre. So this one mostly makes sense. It’s weird how review kind of took over the original meaning of view in English. It actually meant an inspection of military forces when it showed up in the mid fifteenth century. It literally just means re- (again) view. To view again.

And there are so much more. We’ll get to those next week.

Tony Jebson’s page on the Origins of Old English

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

From The Spamfiles

I always have more.

Damn it, Greg, you need to take care of this stuff.

Boy, Jenn really wants me to unsubscribe.

The emoji looks more like a sprig of parsley than pot. Much like the poison they’ll give you.

Is that even a name?

Uh-oh. Greg pissed off the impressionists. He’s in for it now.

Ohhhh…no. No no no. No.

Saturday, March 9, 2019


Cats be like that.
Peaches loves to sleep with her head hanging down off something. This is just the natural progression.

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Language of Confusion: Wills

Will is a pretty common word. I know I use it all the time. So what are its origins?

It comes from the Old English willan, to wish or desire (the noun of course coming from the equivalent noun, willa). But there’s also a form of “to will” that comes from willian, that does mean to will. They’re all related and frankly I didn’t even know that there was a version of will that meant wish. In any case, all versions are descended from the Proto Germanic willjan, which is from the Proto Indo European wel-, to wish or to will. I guess that explains that. Although not the word won’t. I mean, why does the i change to an o? It was actually first recorded in the mid fifteenth century as wynnot (still makes more sense) and then in the late sixteenth century as wonnot. I guess that’s where the o is from, but it doesn’t explain why!

Of course there are a lot of other words that are (weirdly) related. Benevolence for example. Really. It showed up in the fifteenth century from the Old French benevolence and classical Latin benvolentia, goodwill. The bene- means good and the rest comes from volentem, wanting, and velle, to want, and that’s the part that’s also descended from wel-. Malevolence is pretty much the same, just with mal- (bad) in front instead of bene.

Voluntary actually comes from the same place. It showed up in the late fourteenth century from the classical Latin voluntarius, to volunteer, which is also from velle.

There are several other words that are related that I’ve actually already etymologized, like well and would, and although I’m not going to get back into them again, feel free to check out their own posts.

Tony Jebson’s page on the Origins of Old English

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

March Goals

It’s March, which means spring is almost here and hopefully we can say goodbye to the snow forever. Also I have goals to get to or something.

February Goals
1. Finish the first draft of my WIP! Yes, that is worthy of an exclamation point.
WOO! Draft one is done. I have no idea when I’ll ever have a chance to edit it, but one thing at a time.

2. Actually do something about a new spam blog.
I mean, kind of. I’m posting it here now. Only the finest spam for you guys.

3. Start planning the rewrites I want to do based on the beta reads I got.
I did plan out the rewrites! I even got started on them.

Not bad, right? A successful month in spite of how short it is. Now what should I do this month?

March Goals
1. Finish the rewrites.

2. Start working on all the other notes I was given by my beta readers. Hopefully I won’t be panicking too much to do this.

3. Update etymology page. It’s that time again.

I should be able to do all that. Maybe. Possibly. If anxiety doesn’t strangle me to death first.

So what are you up to this month? Are you looking forward to the change in seasons?

Saturday, March 2, 2019


The second someone starts ranting about the SJWs is the second you should start running in the other direction.
Keep in mind that I am definitely not following him at this point, but every time he posts a new fringe conspiracy theory about men being victimized by evil woman accusing them of sexual misconduct YouTube’s like WATCH THIS NEXT. I keep hitting “not interested in this channel” but it won’t stop.