Saturday, June 29, 2019

An Answer Stronger Than No

I’m not sociable with people I know, let alone people I don’t.
Try to make me go, and I’mma stab someone.

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Language of Confusion: Whatever The Case May Be, Part IV

Finally. Now that we have one case done, it’s time to look at the other. If you don’t remember (and why would you? It was a month ago), the case that means situation has a completely different origin than the case that means container. Now that we’ve looked at words relating to the former, time to look at those related to the latter.

Strap in. It’s going to take a while.

Container case comes from the Proto Indo European word kap-, meaning to grasp, take, or hold. You hold a case, so I guess that makes sense. What doesn’t make sense is the multitude of words descending from it.

First of all, words ending in -ceive? All related. Receive showed up in the fourteenth century from the Old North French recievre, seize, take hold of, or accept. It’s from the classical Latin recipere, which is really just receive. The re- means back, and the -cipere is from capere, to take or capture. Receipt, also from the same place, although the Old North French equivalent is receite, so they dropped the P that we for some reason put back in, if silently. And of course there’s recipe, which didn’t show up until the late sixteenth century, and back then it only meant a medical prescription. It’s from the Middle French récipé, and classical Latin recipe, which means recipe or take. It had nothing to do with food until 1743, and no, I don’t know what caused that to change. The original sense only survives in the term Rx, so now you know why prescriptions are called Rx.

Not entirely out of the blue, but we’ve only just started. Conceive showed up in the late thirteenth century as conceiven, to become pregnant, and not meaning an idea until the late fourteenth century. It’s from the Old French conceveir and classical Latin concipere, to conceive in the pregnancy sense. The con- is thought to be intensive here, and the rest comes from capere. So it’s to really take. The whole pregnancy thing came from the idea of a woman “taking in the seed” of life, but I’m not really sure where the idea notion came from (although it did have that figurative notion in French and Latin). You don’t take in an idea… Do you???

Perceive showed up in the thirteenth century from the Anglo French parceif and Old North French perceivre, perceive. It’s from the classical Latin percipere, also just perceive, with the per- from per, as in the preposition, in this sense meaning “by means of”, and in this case meaning thoroughly. Perceiving something is taking it thoroughly!

Finally today, deceive showed up in the fourteenth century from the Old French decevoir and classical Latin decipere, which would mean something like deceive or ensnare. The de- means from (or possibly is pejorative), so the word is to take from, in a negative sense.

Whew. And we’ve barely scratched the surface of these words.


Tuesday, June 25, 2019

From The Spamfiles

One answer Liz gave me last week, which she heard from someone else, is that the reason for the spam comment was because someone was trying to rig SEO to kick up their website in search results. So in addition to being liars, they really want to spread their misinformation. Jerkoffs.

Anyway, spam.

What’s just to say hello? The kissing emojis? Because that’s not really a hello.

I know. The hello.

That many free spins would make me nauseous.

Look, another spam comment, although this one’s much nicer than the last one. Not sure I’d trust anyplace called “horsyland” though (because yes, we all want your amateur opinion). I wish I thought to check where the link actually goes to. Probably somewhere similar to her email address.

A cancer widow! I mean, it doesn’t say specifically if she’s a widow, but they always are.

And the sext is fire, apparently. Frankly, it’s better than what’s usually sent in those.

Saturday, June 22, 2019

Buzz Saw

In addition to purring loud, Veronica also snores loud.
It can be hard to get her head at just the right angle so she’ll stop snoring. It never seems to wake her up either.

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Language of Confusion: Whatever The Case May Be, Part III

Okay, this is the last week of looking at words related to case (situation), the one that’s from the Proto Indo European kad-, to fall. Prepare for things to get weird.

First, occasion showed up in the late fourteenth century from the Old French ochaison/occasion, from the classical Latin occasionem, opportunity. It’s from the verb occidere, which means things like fall down or go down (one definition even has it at to kill). The o- is from ob-, down, and the -cidere comes from cadere, to fall. So that part makes sense, although I’m lost on how it got to “opportunity”. Oh, and the word Occident is from the same place. Considering that word means “western part”, I’m even more confused.

Next, cadence. It showed up in the late fourteenth century, meaning rhythm in prose or verse, coming from the Middle French cadence, and Old Italian cadenza—conclusion of a movement in music. That’s from the Vulgar Latin cadentia, from the classical Latin cadens, falling, from cadere. So because the end of a musical movement is “a falling”, we have cadence. Also related is the word cadaver, which showed up in the late fourteenth century from the classical Latin cadaver, a dead body, and wow, we didn’t change that word at all in nearly seven hundred years. Anyway, it’s thought to be from cadere in the sense that when someone is dead, they fall down. They’re a cadaver.

That also leads us to the next words we’ll be looking at. Decay showed up in the fifteenth century, from the Anglo French and Old North French decair and Vulgar Latin decadere. That’s also the origin word for decadence, which seems to just be the same word with de- in front of it, but of course it’s not. It showed up in the sixteenth century meaning deteriorated condition—it wasn’t until 1970 that things changed to meaning highly self-indulgent! Also, it was first used that way in reference to desserts. Anyway! Decadence comes from the Medieval Latin decadentia, decay, which is from decadere, to decay, with de- meaning apart or down. It’s to fall apart. Well, I do fall apart in front of a dessert…


Tuesday, June 18, 2019

The First Spam Comment In A While

As the title suggests, it’s been a while since I’ve received spam in my comments section (for some reason, I’m not very attractive to spammers). But then I got this one, and boy is it a doozy.
Where do I even begin. Obviously it has nothing to do with the etymology post that it was posted to. Have I even mentioned Portugal on the blog before? I don’t think so. In any case, yelling that it’s a racist country is a pretty intense way to start things.

Those links are to real articles by the way. I looked some of them up and their URLs match the ones here, which is crazy, like there isn’t even a malware site that it redirects you to. I’m not even sure what this spam is trying to accomplish other than slamming Portugal.

Is Portugal a racist country? I mean, kind of. One of those articles is about Portugal’s colonial history and how racism still permeates the culture, but… that’s true of a lot of places in Europe, and the United States as well. I’m not sure why they’re so intent on calling out Portugal for it.

Also, what’s with the hate towards Luso? I actually didn’t know this, but “Luso-Portuguese” refers to Portuguese speaking places in general. There are a ton of colleges (like a little one you may have heard of called Harvard) that call their Portuguese study programs “Portuguese and Luso-Brazilian”. Yeah it’s made up… everything is made up. And the fact that they’re talking about the DNA phenotype… what is that about? It feels more racist than the racism they’re supposedly calling out.

Finally, they spend a lot of time talking about Portugal’s poor economy. While there is some concern about it, it’s also actually doing better than it has in twenty years. There are issues, but nothing like what the comment describes. Its unemployment rate is also under 7%, a far cry from the 40% the comment claims. And the average salary being about $900 a month is accurate, but at the same time ignores that that figure is net income, after taxes, and doesn’t take into account cost of living, which is fairly low.

Portugal: not perfect, but certainly not the dystopia the comment is making it out to be. I went off on a bit of a tangent about the country, but really, inaccurate information bothers me. I’ve also never seen a spam comment not trying to sell me something or infect me with malware. It’s a mystery wrapped in a riddle.

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Coming Home

My mom always gets so excited when my brother says he’s coming home for a visit.
Now, my brother lives in Japan, so it takes some coordination for him to come home. Obviously it has to be worth it.

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Language of Confusion: Whatever The Case May Be, Part II

If you’ll remember from last week, the two versions of case (situation and container) are from different origins. This week, we’re looking at words related to the first version, which descended from the Proto Indo European kad- (to fall) and also gave us casual and casualty. Because words.

First of all, a lot of words with “-cid-” in them are from kad-. Accident, incident, recidivist, deciduous… all from kad-. Accident showed up in the late fourteenth century from the Old French accident and classical Latin accidentem, from the verb accidere, to befall. The a- is from ad-, to, and the -cidere is from cadere, to fall, from kad-. An accident befalls someone.

Incident showed up in the early fifteenth century from the Old French incident (we’re just blatantly copying from them now) and the classical Latin incidentem (incident) from incidere, to fall. And again, that’s from cadere. The in- actually means on here, meaning this word is more like “to fall on”. It’s weird how words can mean the same thing when you look at the parts of them, but when you look at the whole it’s completely different.

Now, recidivist showed up in 1863, from the French (that is, Modern French) récidiver, which means something like fall back or backslide. It’s from the Medieval Latin recidivare, relapse into sin, from the classical Latin recidivus, fall back in the sense of recurring or returning. The verb form is recidere, fall back, with the re- meaning back or again. With cadere, it’s to fall back again. Pretty accurate definition of recidivism.

Now the one that I was really wondering about: deciduous. It showed up in the late seventeenth century from the classical Latin deciduus, that which falls down, from decidere, to fall down or drop. The de- means down in this case (pun not intended), and with cadere, it’s to fall down. And because some trees have leaves that fall down every year, they are called deciduous. Ugh, it’s unsettling when things make sense.

I had hoped to finish all the words related to this particular case, but after all this I’m only about halfway done. So I’m afraid we’ll have to wait until next week.

This is definitely going to be a long series. Like, if this series was a walk in the woods, I would suggest you bring a tent.


Tuesday, June 11, 2019

From The Spamfiles

Back to doing this again! I love easy posts. My monthly goals post are also easy, but unlike spam posts require self-analysis. Obviously that’s no fun.

Clearly this spam is old, because there’s been like five new iPhones since then.

Somehow I don’t think I’ll be surprised.

Are they thanking me or is their name just “Thank you”? And what is with them always giving random numbers? They must think it makes it look more legit.

At least this one put the dollar sign in front of the number instead of after it, like some sort of heathen.

You know what? I actually like the exclamation points. They’re a pretty color.

Ugh. I just threw up in my mouth a little.

Saturday, June 8, 2019


It’s called cord-shaving. It’s good for some, not so good for others.
Bonus: she had it for two days before she decided she didn’t like it and got a new cable system.

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Language of Confusion: Whatever the Case May Be, Part I

Case has a few different meanings, one of which is like the title of this post, a situation, and the other is something you put other things in, like a briefcase. Are they related?

Of course not. Haven’t you been paying attention during these posts?

Situation case showed up in the early thirteenth century, coming from the Old French cas and classical Latin casus, an event. It’s from the verb cadere, which actually means “to fall” and that’s from the Proto Indo European kad-, to fall, the origin of a bunch of interesting words. Anyway, think of something that falls—or befalls—and you can understand how case means what it does.

Other words related to the above case include casual and casualty. The former showed up in the late fourteenth century, however back then it meant “subject to or produced by chance”, and it didn’t mean what we know it as until 1883! The word is from the Middle French casuel and Late Latin casualis, by chance, which comes from casus. Casualty showed up a little later than casual, in the early fifteenth century, where it also had a very different meaning: chance or accident. It was generally used to mean bad things that happened, and then in the late fifteenth century started to mean military losses. By the mid nineteenth century, it firmly meant someone who was killed/wounded in battle.

Now for the other case. The container case showed up a century after the other one, in the early fourteenth century, from the Anglo French/Old North French casse. It’s from the classical Latin capsa, box, from the verb capere, to catch or hold, and this word is traced back to the Proto Indo European kap-, to grasp, the origin for soooooo many words, for instance the -cept words. Some of these histories are looking pretty interesting. I’ll have to start going over them.

Right after I finish all the words related to the first case…


Tuesday, June 4, 2019

June Goals

Well, another month bites the dust. Was it more successful than April? Marginally. Not that it didn’t have its own pain-in-the-assery to deal with.

What was I supposed to be doing this month?

May Goals
1. Start making notes for my other WIP, because I feel more enthused about working on that project than my other one.
I did do this. Now I have, like, four hundred. Oi, rough drafts.

2. Hopefully actually get to the notes on WIP 1 this time.
Yes, I finally finished these. Time to find some more beta readers.

3. Find something to do to recharge myself creatively. I have no idea what, though.
I came up with a stupid project to keep myself entertained. It was a lot of fun and I was able to get through all my notes.

So I got more done, but still. What a freaking month. And now we’ve got summer on us.

June Goals
1. Get more beta reads for WIP 1. I still have a lot of questions about what works and what doesn’t.

2. Distract myself from the above by working on all the notes for the other WIP.

3. Update etymology page. I don’t want to forget!

That’s the plan, anyway. How I wish this was ten years ago when there were all those blog events that connected people. I had a bunch of beta readers back then!

Anyway, what do you want to do this month?

Saturday, June 1, 2019

Under Pressure

It’s always bad news at the doctor’s office.
Maybe it wouldn’t be elevated if people didn’t piss me the hell off so much.