Tuesday, April 30, 2019

From The Spamfiles

Yay, there were five Tuesdays this month. I just love putting off having to look at my failed goals for another week.

I’ve never met someone named Helen in my life and you’re going to tell me that some twenty three year old has that name. She’s probably friends with Betty and Linda.

Client #810-8564. At least they spelled my name right.

If the emojis are any indication, than dating requires lighting people on fire. So I’m already most of the way there.

Honestly, its still a more believable name than Helen.

Not just blinding, ultra-blinding! For when blinding bears just isn’t enough. You have to melt their eyes, too.

And I love you, dcpknalb. Now give me money.

Saturday, April 27, 2019


Somebody wants attention.
She can’t stand it when I’m looking at something that isn’t her.

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Language of Confusion: Feeling Tired

I must be feeling tired again.

Tire isn’t only a word for how you feel, it’s also a word that means what you put on a vehicle. And they’re not related. Like, even a little. Vehicle tires actually come from the word attire (boy is that a long story for another post). The other tire, the one where you just want to sleep, is actually harder to pin down. It’s thought to be from the Proto Germanic teuzon, which is from the Proto Indo European deu-, to lack or be wanting. I guess I can see that. To be tired is to lack energy, right?

And now for another word that has multiple very different meanings, although these ones are at least related. Exhaust showed up in the sixteenth century, but it didn’t mean gas waste until the nineteenth century, and back then it referred to steam engines (I’m guessing they didn’t use it that way earlier because they didn’t have engines :P). Originally, exhaust just meant to use up, so I guess an exhaust was a by-product of what was being used up. Anyway, it came from the classical Latin exhaustus, drained, from the verb exhaurire, to drain. The prefix ex- means off and haurire also means drain, generally of water, and is from the Proto Indo European heusio-, to scoop. Basically the word went from literal to metaphorical in two different ways.

Weary comes from the Old English werig, tired, and it’s from the Proto Germanic worigaz, but after that it’s unknown. But what about the word wear, like one would wear out something? Ha ha. No. Not even a little. That’s right, to wear something out has nothing to do with being weary. It actually has to do with clothes. Clothes—or wear—are gradually damaged over time. They wear out. And that’s where we get that from.

Okay, let’s see what wild ride this one takes us on. Fatigue showed up in the mid seventeenth century  from the French fatigue, which just means tired. It comes from the classical Latin fatigare, to exhaust, which is related to the Old Latin fatis, and before that we don’t know. As to why fatigues means a military uniform, well, when it first started being used in a military sense, it actually meant extra duties of a soldier, and I’m guessing that the extra duties were supposed to wear you out. That gave way to uniforms being called fatigue dress in the nineteenth century, and that’s why we have fatigues.

Wow. This one was weird.

Tony Jebson’s page on the Origins of Old English

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

From The Spamfiles

I have to say, I’m loving not having to come up with actual ideas for posts.

Well, this seems vaguely threatening.

Goddamn it, Greg is still getting spam. They say they “matched” my email address to Greg. I want to know how!

Okay, meeting a random stranger online for a secret date is how you lose organs.

The emojis there seem to have cat ears. Am I online dating cats?

And this one’s asking if I like their new hat and I have to ask, who the hell wears hats anymore? Maybe baseball hats, but I still don’t see that all that much.

…Ever look at something and wonder what the audience for it is, then realize that there has to be one otherwise they wouldn’t be sending out stuff like this? Because I’m definitely having one of those moments.

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Language of Confusion: Get

Usually the simplest words have the stupidest origins.

Get showed up in the thirteenth century, coming to us from the Old Norse geta, where it basically meant the same thing as what we use it for. It’s from the Proto Germanic getan and the Proto Indo European root ghend-, to seize or take. Interestingly enough, in Old English get was almost only used in parts of words—you know, like in forget. But the Old English word for get, gietan, is not where the Modern English get arrives (like I said, it’s from Old Norse). They do however happen to have the same root.

Now, I already mentioned forget, so let’s get into it. Unlike get, its origin is in Old English, where the word is forgietan, which is just forget. The for- is thought to mean a kind of negation, so it’s something like losing or being taken away or the opposite. Basically, the opposite of getting is forgetting.

And there’s one other word related to get: beget. Not that we ever use it much. It’s from the Old English begietan, and means something like acquire or obtain, but involving some effort, and it wasn’t until the thirteenth century that it had anything to do with reproduction. Misbegotten (which I think is probably used more these days than beget) is actually derived from beget. It showed up in the sixteenth century from misbeget, which was a word at one point even if it’s not now. And when it did first show up, it meant bastard, illegitimate (presumably referring to offspring), or unlawfully obtained (presumably not).

TL;DR: Forget isn’t from get, but they are both from the same word, so my opening comment was right.

Tony Jebson’s page on the Origins of Old English

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

From The Spamfiles

I love these posts. Mostly because they’re really, really easy.

As opposed to all the 95% authentic Asian ladies online.

Will you leave me alone? Because that’s what I really want.

Okay, time for another rousing edition of Spot The Red Flag:
1. The (.)ru domain is just super shady.
2. They don’t use apostrophes, the monsters.
3. The delivery day was almost a year ago.

I don’t know. Do I or do not I like to contact via email or phone?

Because yeah, what do brain surgeons know? Anyway, I’m 100% sure that whatever they want you to eat will kill you, so I guess your tinnitus will be solved.

A spam comment on last week’s post about spam! The ouroboros is eating itself!

Saturday, April 13, 2019


It’s a mystery.
Yeah, this comic is basically a combination of the previous two ideas.

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Language of Confusion: Learning

Let’s get right into it, shall we?

Learn comes from the Old English leornian, which just means to learn so there weren’t any big jumps here. Although amusingly enough there was a word leorningcild, which means student, and is literally “learning child”. Anyway, leornian comes from the Proto Germanic lisnojanan, which actually had a sense of meaning that was “to follow or find the track”. I mean, you can see how learning is following a path? It’s actually from the Proto Indo European lois-, furrow or track. It makes sense (kind of), but still, wow.

Teach comes from the Old English taecan, which could mean teach or show, or even translate. The past tense of the word, much like our own version, switches from a c to a t. Which of course is because that’s where taught comes from. Taught came to us from the Old English tahte. No explanation why the letter switch, but let’s just chalk it up to Old English being Old English. Anyway, taecan comes from the Proto Germanic taikijan, to show, and the Proto Indo European root deik-, which has so many related words that it would take a long time to get through them. Maybe the next time I’m in the mood for doing a long series.

The origins of educate aren’t from Old English, so maybe it’ll actually make sense. It showed up in the mid fifteenth century from the classical Latin educatus, educated, and its verb form educare, which means teach or train. It’s actually related to another verb, educere, to lead, a mix of the prefix ex-, out, and ducere, also to lead. That word can be traced to the Proto Indo European deuk-, which means to lead and I’m sure has shown up in one of my etymology posts at some point.

Finally today, we’re looking at know. It comes from the Old English cnawan, which basically means know and yes, would have been pronounced with the hard C sound. It’s from the Proto Germanic knew and Proto Indo European gno-, to know, so this word stayed pretty steady through the years. Until we lost the K sound in front of it. Why’d we ever do that?

Tony Jebson’s page on the Origins of Old English

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

From the Spamfiles

Yep, more of this.

Oh, great. Another one for Greg. Now they want his ideas. I guess he’s an inventor?

And he has a lot of unclaimed assets.

Yes, I really did get all of these in the space of maybe a week. Just when I thought the Greg mail was drying up.

Obviously the reward is inside the phone, because there’s no way in hell I’d consider an iPhone a reward.

I guess they’re telling me I have a $50 gift card for Amazon? I’m not really sure. Maybe they’re saying the fifty dollars is a withdrawal. Or Amazon is the withdrawal on my fifty dollars.

Wow, all I have to do to stop receiving these emails is click this link! Then I’ll never have to worry about spam again!

Saturday, April 6, 2019


Orange and cone-shaped is usually associated with traffic cones.

She can’t help being conical. Well, she can, but it would require her to stop eating so much. And we all know she’s not going to agree to that.

Thursday, April 4, 2019

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

This should be the last installment of this series about words descended from the Proto Indo European weid- (to see). And It. Gets. WEIRD.

First, idea showed up in the late fourteenth century meaning an archetype or a “concept of a thing in the mind of God”. It didn’t actually mean what we’d call an idea until the early seventeenth century. It comes from the classical Latin idea, which could mean idea or ideal, which makes sense since that’s where ideal comes from too. Latin (unsurprisingly) took the word from Greek, where it came from the ideal in Platonic philosophy, which is so complicated and I’m not getting into it. Basically it means an archetype from which imperfect copies come from. Anyway, the Greek idea comes from idein, to see, which is from the Proto Indo European wid-es-ya-, which is from weid-. I guess an ideal is something you see in your mind. There are a lot of other words related to idea. The prefix ideo-, of course, which came from the Greek version of the word.

And the word idol also comes from weid-, although down a very different path than its homophone there. It showed up in the mid thirteenth century from the Old French idole, idol, and classical Latin idolum, which could mean idol or image or even profit. It’s also from a Greek word, eidolon, also meaning idol, which could be either a mental image or a physical one. It’s from another Greek word, eidos, meaning kind or type or likeness. That’s actually where we get the suffix -oid from [https://www.etymonline.com/word/-oid]. So, like, in humanoid, the -oid there means like/think like a—it’s a thing like a human. And that’s from eidos, which is from the Proto Indo European weid-es, from weid-. To see. I guess you can see how something is like something else?

Here’s a word you won’t be expecting: envy. It showed up in the late thirteenth century from the Old French envie and classical Latin invidia, envy. Also a homophone for a tech company that makes pretty good graphics processors. Anyway, invidia is from the verb invidere, to envy, a mix of the prefix in- (upon and videre, which has been mentioned in previous installments as meaning to see and from weid-. You see something, you’re envious of it???

Making even less sense is the word prudent. Yes, it’s really one of these words. It showed up in the late fourteenth century from the Old French prudent, with knowledge or deliberate, and classical Latin prudentem, wise or knowing. It’s actually a contraction of providens, seeing, from the verb providere, to provide for or prepare or look ahead. The pro- means ahead [https://www.etymonline.com/word/pro-], and the videre, to see. To see ahead is to be prudent. And yes, that’s where prudence comes from, as well as providence. All that because Latin decided to contract a word that wasn’t even longer than the contraction.

I don’t even know what’s real anymore.


Tuesday, April 2, 2019

April Goals

It’s that time again. I’m not sure if March went by really fast or if I was just really, really slow.

March Goals
1. Finish the rewrites.
Hey, I did this. Now I have a bunch more stuff to edit. :/

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.
I only got about halfway through this. There were a lot of corrections to make. My friends probably now think I don’t know how to write. They’re not wrong.

3. Update etymology page. It’s that time again.
At least I got this done. Not like it’s difficult!

Honestly, I did as much as I was able to. Mostly. There may have been one or two days where I blew everything off. So what about this month?

April Goals
1. Finish the notes from my beta readers.

2. Work on all the notes that I’ve made because of suggestions from my beta readers.

3. If I’m able to finish the first two notes, then I can start editing the short story I wrote last year.

That’s the plan, at any rate. Hopefully there won’t be anything huge that gets in my way.

Oh god, I jinxed myself, didn’t I?

What are you going to do this month?