Thursday, December 31, 2020

Misspellings That Drive Me Into A Rage

Last post of the year! I hope you’re not going anywhere tonight. I’d rather you not get sick and die.
All right, so the stupid thing I’ll be looking at this year is the errors I keep seeing that drive me nuts for no good reason. Obviously I don’t see any of you guys do them, but I do see them other places. Sometimes it’s teenagers making the mistake, but I’ve also seen people 40+ do these and I just. Don’t get it.
Que, when it’s supposed to be cue (and no, they aren’t trying to say queue). I’ve seen people go “right on que” and it’s like really? You think that’s a Q? Why??? Now, I don’t see this terribly often, but the fact that it’s popped up more than once is just like what the hell. When have you ever seen “que” and it not be someone asking “What?” in Spanish?
Ugh, this one grates against my nerves. Two S’s, one P. Really, I’m being a bit hypocritical here considering how often I spell words with the wrong number of letters, but come on. It’s dis-appoint not dis-sapoint. You know what an appointment is, right? Then you should know what a disappointment is! Because it’s spelling disappointment with two S’s.
I keep seeing this one and I don’t get it. Sure, pay is an irregular verb in that it’s spelled “paid”, and somehow payed really is a word—it’s a nautical term meaning to coat or cover with pitch. Frankly, I’m annoyed payed isn’t flagged as incorrect by spellcheckers. How many people are going to be using it for its actual definition? None! And I just keep seeing people saying they got payed on Friday. No you didn’t, damn it!
Now we’re veering into grammatically wrong instead of a misspelling, but I’m so sick of people writing loose when they mean lose. I want to go over to their houses and flick their ears every time they use it wrong. But we’re in a pandemic so I shouldn’t do that.
This one might be just something that bothers me, but I can’t stand it when people put the dollar sign after the number instead of before. I don’t get why it drives me crazy. Technically, it’s supposed to be said “twenty dollars” so 20$ actually makes more sense. But I hate seeing it. Just looking at that dollar sign at the end of the number makes me want to gouge my eyes out. The chief perpetrator of this sin? My mother. I may have to block her from texting me until she gets it right.
There. You’ve seen my ridiculous pet peeves. What misspellings/misuses drive you crazy?

Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Reflections 2020

I don’t know about any of you, but looking back on this year only makes me want to scream in horror. Does anyone even remember the beginning of it, how naïve and hopeful we were? Maybe not. It was five centuries ago.
I don’t even remember what I was supposed to be doing this year…
Resolutions 2020
1. Get WIP-1 ready to be published.
As far as I can tell, it’s as good is as it’s going to get. I’m not sure if it’s good enough, though.
2. Finish editing WIP-2 to get it ready for beta reading.
Wow, I did this, I even got the beta reading underway. That’s actually kind of impressive. It almost makes up for me not doing the next goal.
3. Finish editing the other WIP that kind of got pushed aside after I decided to write WIP-2.
I did some work on it, but unfortunately, it kept getting pushed aside. It’s not going anywhere, though.
4. Write the two short side stories I have planned, and edit everything.
Did not do this, mostly because I was working on other goals. And yet another new project.
5. Maybe write the sequel to the other WIP. I don’t know, I’ll have to see if I have the time.
I did consider this, but I ended up starting a completely new project instead. Of course.
6. Work on my health and hopefully get better.
Kind of a mixed bag, really. This year was… well, you know.
7. Not back down when I know what’s right. Ever.
And I haven’t. Then again, I haven’t been leaving the house much what with the whole deadly plague that’s caused the death of hundreds of thousands of people.
Ugh, 2020. UGHHHHHHHHH. Go jump in a lake. No one will miss you.
Anything you want to share that was good about this year? You know, if that’s possible.

Thursday, December 24, 2020

Christmas Re-Post #2

This one’s a two-parter since they’re related. You can also see how obviously I just copy-pasted everything.
Have a good holiday! Remember to stay away from people and keep your mask on! You know, like I’ve done every day of my life.

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Saturday, December 19, 2020


Every damn time there’s even the least amount of wind…
No exaggeration here. I started working on this and bam, power goes out.

Thursday, December 17, 2020

Language Of Confusion: To Be Or Not To Be

It’s the last etymology post of the year! Might as well do something that’s been a long time coming: be, one of the most common used verbs in English. I’m betting a lot of ESL learners are annoyed at it considering how irregular it is. Most of be’s forms don’t even look like the same word.
Be comes from the Old English beon, to be or become, from the Proto Germanic biju-. That’s from the Proto Indo European root bheue-, to be, exist, or grow, which is one of those things that’s part of a bunch of other words I won’t be getting into because we’ll be here all day and I’ve got things to do.
However, probably the only be word that’s from bheue- is been. The others are all different! Am was eom in Old English, and it was the first person version of be like it is today. It’s from the Proto Germanic ism(i)-, from the Proto Indo European esmi-, which is from the root es-, to be. Yes, they had two versions of to be. It’s also a part of a bunch of different words, the most obvious of which is is. Is is from the Old English is, big surprise, just is. That’s from the Germanic es-, from the Proto Indo European es-ti-, so a slightly different version of es-.
Now, for was. Man, is this one a trip. It showed up in Old English as wesan or waes, all of which are from the Proto Germanic wesanan. That one is from the Proto Indo European root wes-, which means to remain, abide, or well. So was isn’t even from a word that means to be. Were is from the same origin, having shown up as the Old English waeron, another tense of wesan/waes. There’s no real explanation as to why this word morphed into being the past tense of to be. It just did for some reason.
Words, man. Words.
Online Etymology Dictionary
University of Texas at Austin Linguistic Research Center
University of Texas at San Antonio’s page on Proto Indo European language
Tony Jebson’s page on the Origins of Old English
Old English-English Dictionary

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

From The Spamfiles

Last one of the year! Next week being a holiday week means I’m going to be posting something else (what, I haven’t decided) and I always do something different for the last week of the year. You should all know this by now. I’ve had the same six people commenting for YEARS.
Anyway, spam.

Do people really like getting these confessions of secret crushes that have gone on forever? Because to me it seems annoying and vaguely creepy.

That S is so fancy it looks like a G.

Yet another one who doesn’t know how to use spaces. Also named “Kephren” which seems less like a name and more like a cough.

Okay, so I know what “el” means, and I know what “amo” means, so I decide to look up “puto” and…
Now I know a new word in Spanish.

I’m not sure what’s better, the broken English or the fact that their name is Bitchasss. No, wait. It’s definitely the Bitchasss thing.
There really was a crash of an EgyptAir flight in 2016. But of the passengers, most were from Africa or the Middle East. There wasn’t anyone from Germany on board—in fact, the only person from mainland Europe was Portuguese. I guess the scammers thought they’d get a better response if they claimed to be European, although they should be careful not to use information that’s so easily Googled.

Thursday, December 10, 2020

Language Of Confusion: Paint

Obviously not doing any holiday themed etymologies this year. I don’t even think there’s anything I haven’t looked at already. So today we’re looking at paint.
Paint showed up in the mid thirteenth century as peinten, meaning to represent something in paint, or to decorate something or someone with pictures. It wasn’t until the early fourteenth century that it meant coating the surface of something with a color. It comes from the Old French peintier, to paint, from peindre, which is also to paint (don’t ask me, I don’t know) and that’s from the classical Latin pingere, which could mean to paint or to make a picture. That one can actually be traced to the Proto Indo European peig-, which means… to cut or mark by incision. That might seem weird, but the theory is that it went from decorate with cut marks to just decorate to decorate with color. So painting has to do with cutting somehow.
Surprisingly enough, that isn’t the only decoration related word from peig-. Picture is actually also from there. It showed up in the early fifteenth century meaning the process of drawing or painting as well as a picture of something. It’s from the classical Latin pictura, picture, which is also from pingere.
The next of these somehow related art words is pigment. It showed up in the late fourteenth century meaning… a red dye. Yep, really. It wasn’t until the early seventeenth century that it meant a pigment in general. It’s from the classical Latin pigmentum, paint or coloring, and that’s from pingere, too. It’s so weird that they associated coloring with cutting!
The final word we’ll look at today doesn’t have to do with color, but does kind of have to do with pictures. Depict showed up in the early fifteenth century, meaning to portray or paint something. It’s from the classical Latin depictus, which actually means painted, from the verb depingere, yet another one of these words that just means to paint. The de- prefix means down here, and with pingere, means this word is “to paint down”. Sure. Why not.
Online Etymology Dictionary
Google Translate
University of Texas at Austin Linguistic Research Center
University of Texas at San Antonio’s page on Proto Indo European language

Tuesday, December 8, 2020

From The Spamfiles

It’s spam time!

I have a crazy cat that’s much closer than that. Her name is Peaches and she is very fluffy.

Wait, so Western Union sent me money through Western Union? I mean, I guess if they were going to send me money, it would be using themselves…

Well! How insulting. They didn’t even bother to fill in my name for their template. Come on, spammers. Your job isn’t that difficult.

There’s a pandemic going on. No one should be doing that. These spammers are so irresponsible.

I’m kind of puzzled over what their definition of “naturally” is here. I assume some form of technology is involved since it’s “eight times more powerful” or whatever. A knife would be natural, I think, but not pain free. Maybe a laser? But again, not natural. Man, I wish I had opened this one because I want to see what the hell it could be.

Okay, clearly you haven’t seen my neighbors because I can guarantee that I absolutely do not want to see them naked.

Saturday, December 5, 2020

Yet Again

This kind of thing happens pretty regularly when I’m with my mom.

“…Maybe he was running from a coyote,” she said.
“Maybe he’s just dumb,” I replied.
It’s been about six months since he last did that. I guess he forgot his lesson.

Thursday, December 3, 2020

Language Of Confusion: Answers

This week I’m looking at words related to answer. It’s also going to be a partial redo since I looked at solve almost ten years ago and, like most of my posts from that era, it’s not very good.
Answer itself comes from the Old English andswaru as a noun and andswarian as a verb, and I can see why no one wanted to keep that D in there, it’s awkward to say. The and- is from ant-, against, the origin of anti-, and the rest is from swerian, to swear. An answer is to swear against. People think the original sense of the word was “a sworn statement rebutting a charge”, and then sometime in the fourteenth century it started to morph into a response to anything. You’d swear against a charge, so you’re answering. If you look at swerian, it comes from the Proto Germanic swerjanan, which may or may not be from the Proto Indo European swer-, to speak. That would make sense as the origin of answer, but we should always be suspicious of etymology making sense.
Solve, which I once looked at long ago, showed up in the late fourteenth century meaning to disperse, dissipate or loosen, and not meaning to solve as we’d use it until the sixteenth century. The reason for that has to do with solution, which also showed up in the late fourteenth century and meant something being solved, but only because that was how it was used in French. It comes from the Old French solucion, which meant explanation or even payment, but also division or dissolve. It’s from the classical Latin solutionem, which means solution like a solid dissolved in a liquid, from the verb solvere, to loosen (as well as to solve). It can actually be traced to the Proto Indo European words swe-, which is something like our, and leu-, to cut apart.
Next we’ll look at retort. It showed up in the mid sixteenth century from the Old French retort and classical Latin retortus. That word is from the verb retorquere, which actually means to twist. That’s a mix of re-, back, and torquere, to twist, and I’m sure you’re thinking that looks an awful lot like torque, which is because that’s where torque comes from. That torquere can actually be traced back to the Proto Indo European terkw-, to twist, so I guess people had to talk about twisting a lot. And for some reason we dropped the Q and now we have retort.
Remedy showed up in the thirteenth century, coming from the Anglo French remedie, Old French remede, and classical Latin remedium, all of which are just remedy. The re- prefix means again here, and the rest is from mederi, to find a cure. How refreshingly straightforward.
Online Etymology Dictionary
Google Translate
University of Texas at Austin Linguistic Research Center
University of Texas at San Antonio’s page on Proto Indo European language
Tony Jebson’s page on the Origins of Old English
Old English-English Dictionary
Fordham University

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

December Goals

Well, it’s the last month of 2020. And to think, it only took fifty years to get here. Anyone else terrified to see what 2021 is like? Anyway, goals.
November Goals
1. Keep working on notes from my beta readers.
Hey, I actually did this. Really surprising considering how difficult it was to concentrate on anything that wasn’t overwhelming dread.
2. Thanksgiving. Though with the pandemic, this should be nice and subdued.
I love not having to do anything for Thanksgiving. Let’s make that a yearly thing.
3. Just get through the month.
Well, that seems to have happened. Good for me for aiming low.
As successful as it could be, I suppose. I did spend the first two weeks doing nothing but stress-reading the news. Now what should I do this month?
December Goals
1. Update etymology page. I’m still trying to get rid of those damn double spaces between the words.
2. More beta reads. My book definitely needs more opinions.
3. Figure out what project I want to work on next.
So, that’s what I want for the end of the year. What are you doing this month? Remember to wear a mask and stay away from people. The dreaded plague can cause a lot of damage and exacerbate a lot of conditions. Stay safe.

Saturday, November 28, 2020

Thursday, November 26, 2020

Before And After #2

It’s Thanksgiving! I probably won’t be around! But not because I’m doing anything. I just don’t feel like it.
Yes, things are so very different around here.

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Before And After #1

It’s the week of Thanksgiving here in the US! As per usual, I’m doing something slightly different this week. This year I decided to look at the vast differences between 2019 and 2020.
Although in real life, all parties were then cancelled because of the pandemic. It’s just funnier this way.

Saturday, November 21, 2020


Occasionally my mom wants me to try new things with her. I wouldn’t call it a waste of time, but… Well, maybe I would.
I’m not an adventurous eater at all, and fruit is probably the only food type I would try an unusual variety of. And I probably wouldn’t because this is usually the result.

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Language of Confusion: Tear

Another redo this week. I am totally out of original ideas. This one is almost exactly ten years old, so maybe it could use another looking at.
Tear has two different meanings, to rip something apart and what happens when you cry. The crying one showed up as a verb in the early fifteenth century and a noun sometime before that, coming from the Old English tear, which is just tear, so nothing shocking here. It’s from the Proto Germanic tahr-/tagr-, and yes, that’s a g in there. That can be traced to the Proto Indo European dakru-, which means… I don’t know. Weirdly, the etymology dictionary doesn’t say. Well, when a language is more than six thousand years old, you’re bound to lose a few definitions.
The other tear showed up as a noun in the mid seventeenth century and a verb before that, coming from the Old English teran, to rip apart. It’s from the Proto Germanic teran, from the Proto Indo European root der-, to split, flay, or peel. Unlike dakru-, der- shows up in a lot more places. Derm—as in skin—is actually from the same place, and I can only assume it’s because skin peels. Kind of makes sense, doesn’t it?
Tart is actually also from der-. But not the pastry, which is actually from the PIE root terkw-, to twist. Or the derogatory word for a woman, which is from the pastry (well, maybe). No, I mean tart as in how something might taste. Which is not related to the other definitions at all. That tart showed up in the mid sixteenth century, and one theory is it’s from the Old English teart, painful, sharp, or severe, and I can see tart coming from that. Anyway, teart is from the Germanic ter-t-, which is from der-, and no, I don’t get how it went from peel to sharp. Who knows? Maybe it’s not even related at all.
But there is another word that’s most definitely from sharp and I’m way too amused to share it with you: turd. Yes, that turd. It comes from the Old English tord, from the Proto Germanic turdam. That word is from the past participle of der-, drtom, and it’s thought that because turds are split off from people (XD at that image), and split is one of the definitions of der-, we have turd.
Yes, this was an appropriate note to leave off on before Thanksgiving break. I think we can all agree it was clearly a mistake not to go into more depth on tear the first time.
Online Etymology Dictionary
University of Texas at Austin Linguistic Research Center
University of Texas at San Antonio’s page on Proto Indo European language
Tony Jebson’s page on the Origins of Old English
Old English-English Dictionary

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

From The Spamfiles

Spam! Whoo!

The thing that always bothers me about these is that it says RE:, like it’s a response. Are people actually going, “Hm, yes, this is definitely continuing a conversation I was deeply engrossed in.”?

We have a new salutation! Warmth greetings, everyone!
That is the most ridiculous account number I have ever seen. That’s a grand total of (yes, I counted) fifty four numerals, because apparently they have over one septendecillion customers.

They need my confirmation, because that will stop the constant emails.

Guys! Linda Gilbert is giving me my ATM master debit gold card! It’s for the present arrangement to pay me, obviously.

Okay, when you abbreviate a word by putting a period after the second to last letter, it kind of renders it meaningless.

Saturday, November 14, 2020

If Only I Could Hate It To Death

I can’t believe how early it snowed this year.
It didn’t stick on the pavement and it was gone in a few days, but still. Ugh.

Thursday, November 12, 2020

Language Of Confusion: Growing Exponentially

I was going to do this one a while ago but never got around to it. But now I am! More numbers! Let’s see where the names come from.
Ten comes from the Old English ten, so we’re not looking at any major changes. It’s from the Proto Germanic tehun, from the Proto Indo European dekm-, which meant ten. Of course that’s a part of a lot of other numbers, some of which make sense, like deca-deci-, and -teen, but there are also a weird number of other words that you wouldn’t think it would be related to, like dean. Seriously, dean, as in the dean of a college. Why? Because it once meant the head of a group of ten. And dekm- is also the source for most of the other numbers we’re looking at today.

Hundred comes from the Old English hundred, so once again we’re not looking at anything crazy here. It’s from the Proto Germanic hunda-ratha, and the ratha- means reckoning or number, while the hunda- part is actually from hundam, which also meant hundred—hunda-ratha meant hundred number. It’s from the Proto Indo European km-tom, no I don’t know how to pronounce that even though I badly want to, and that word is from another, dkm-tom-. And that dkm- is from dekm-. We just kept dropping letters there. Seriously, first the E, which is a vowel, so you can still figure the word out, but then the D, and then between the PIE and Proto German the K became an H. What were they thinking?
Thousand comes from the Old English þusend, which is just thousand with a thorn in place of a th. It’s from the Proto Germanic thusundi, and beyond that, things get a little murky. It’s thought to be a mix of Proto Indo European roots, teue-, to swell, and our old friend dekm-, making the word something like “swollen-hundred”, I’m not kidding, that’s what the etymology dictionary translates it as. Basically, a swollen-hundred was a great multitude, in the same way we might hyperbolically say there are thousands of something to express that there’s uncountably a lot.
And now for a word that actually isn’t related to all of these. Well, kind of. Million has an actual time frame for its arrival, having shown up in the late fourteenth century as milioun. It’s from the Old French million, which is from the Italian millione, which figuratively meant a “great thousand”. See, in Italian, mille means a thousand, as it does in classical Latin. Because the Italians called a million a great thousand, we have million in English—as well as billion, trillion, and anything else we want to stick in front of -illion.
Online Etymology Dictionary
Google Translate
University of Texas at Austin Linguistic Research Center
University of Texas at San Antonio’s page on Proto Indo European language
Tony Jebson’s page on the Origins of Old English
Old English-English Dictionary

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

From The Spamfiles

Spam is weirdly relieving to me. I mean, there’s no way these scams will ever have any actual impact on my life, so I don’t have anything to worry about. It’s a nice change of pace.

I love it when I get spam that promises to get rid of spam. With one click. And you can confirm your unsubscribe. You go ahead and eat your own tail, you crazy ouroboros.

Am I… unsubscribing from mail delivery? Is that what this is???

How strangely poignant. Someone, somewhere, is Searching For You.

Yes, nails rarely have a say in where you put them. I’m also weirded out by the name “pocket juic”. I’m afraid to find out what that means.

I’m confirming that someone ran a background check on me? Wouldn’t that just give them more information?

Okay, I definitely want to know how my email wound up in an old book on literally the opposite side of the world from me. Excuse me, an old book from street.

Thursday, November 5, 2020

Language Of Confusion: Entrance

Once again redoing an old post, because I really don’t feel like thinking up a new idea. Can you blame me?
I think the reason I first looked at this word was because it bugged me that it had two different meanings, was pronounced two different ways, but spelled the same. Yes, stupid things bother me. You should be well aware of this by now. Frankly, looking at the etymology makes me even more annoyed because the reason those two words are spelled the same is nothing but coincidence.
Entrance—like the thing you go in a room through—showed up in the early sixteenth century, from the Middle French entrance, from the verb entrer, to enter. Enter, the verb, showed up earlier, in the late thirteenth century, as entren, and while it meant enter as we’d use it, it also meant to join a group or society. That’s from entrer, which is from the classical Latin intrare, which is just to enter. It’s from intra, within, which can be traced to the Proto Indo European enter, between or among. Wow. Through all those centuries and languages, it goes from enter in PIE to enter in English. We actually got something right!
As for the other entrance, to put in a trance, it showed up in the late sixteenth century, a mix of the prefix en-, put in, and trance, which I suppose is why the word is entrance. Trance showed up in the late fourteenth century, and in addition to the meaning we use it as, it also meant a state of extreme dread—so I guess that means I’m entranced right now. It’s from the Old French transe, fear of coming evil, a coma, or the state of dying. That’s from the verb transir, which meant to die or to be numb with fear, from the classical Latin transire, to cross over. It’s actually another prefix, with trans- meaning across or beyond and -ire meaning to go, which can be traced from the Proto Indo European ei-, also to go. To trance is “to go across”. To entrance is to make someone go across.

This one really turned out to be oddly appropriate for the times…

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

November Goals

Frigging hell. What can I even say about this month? It was such a nightmare and I’m betting this month is going to be even worse, for obvious reasons.
I don’t even remember what I was supposed to be working on last month.
October Goals
1. Find some beta readers for my latest WIP. I hope some of my friends are still available.
Yeah, I did this. It’s already been really helpful. Thanks!
2. Update my blog’s etymology page. I really should have done this last month!
I did this, although the new posting format made it really difficult. I used to be able to paste it in from Excel and it had nice, even spacing between the words. Now that no longer works, and I can’t get rid of the double spacing in the word list. So yeah. That’s a thing.
3. Work on something. Anything.
This grew increasingly difficult as the month went on. Shocking.
I don’t know if I’d call this a success, if only because nothing about October seems successful.
November Goals
1. Keep working on notes from my beta readers.
2. Thanksgiving. Though with the pandemic, this should be nice and subdued.
3. Just get through the month.
What are you up to this month?