Saturday, May 8, 2021

Thursday, May 6, 2021

Language Of Confusion: Prefixes, Part III

Back on the prefixes. And there are still a lot more that I won’t be looking at.
 
Pre-
What better way to finish off my look at prefixes than by looking at the one that’s actually part of prefix? It comes from the Old French pre- and Medieval Latin pre-, which are from the classical Latin prae, before (another one). It’s from the Proto Indo European peri-, which is from the root per-, which I’m sure looks familiar to you.
 
Per-
Per generally means through, and is related to per the word, as both come from the classical Latin per, which means by, through, or just plain per. That word comes from the Proto Indo European per- that I mentioned earlier. The PIE per- means forward, in front of, first, stuff like that, and is part of just so many words even when it’s not being a prefix. It’s also the origin for all the words we’re looking at this week, because it’s that prevalent. Seriously, click on that link to the Etymology Online page on per- to see the massive list on the words per- is related to.
 
Pro-
This one shouldn’t be too surprising. Pro- means forward or toward the front, before, in place of, or taking care of. It comes from the classical Latin pro, which has pretty much all those meanings to it. And of course it’s from per-. A flexible word leads to a flexible prefix.
 
Pur-
Pur- isn’t used all that much, only showing up in a few words, like purchase, purpose, and purport. Its origins are Middle English and Anglo French, where it was what’s known as “perfective”, a kind of language form we don’t have in English anymore used to indicate a completed action. Pur- comes from the Vulgar Latin por-, which is from the classical Latin pro. So everything comes full circle.
 
So that’s it for prefixes. I mean, there are still a ton more, but I think we’ve covered all the big ones. Now to decide what I should do next…
 
Sources
Online Etymology Dictionary
Google Translate
Omniglot
Dictionary.com
University of Texas at Austin Linguistic Research Center
University of Texas at San Antonio’s page on Proto Indo European language
University of Texas at Arlington
Encyclopaedia Britannica
Fordham University

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

May Goals

Time for this again. What was I even supposed to be doing last month?
 
April Goals
1. Work on one of my project ideas. I have so many, it shouldn’t be this hard.
I may have accidentally written 40K in a new WIP. Whoops.
 
2. Update my etymology page. It’s been months!
I did that! Still can’t get rid of those damn extra spaces, though.
 
3. Actually work on those notes! I think we can all guess how this is going to go.
Ha ha, no.
 
That was April. Now for our beloved Three-Milk:
 
1. Add another 40K to the WIP.
 
2. Go back to work on one of my old projects, which still needs to be beta read. If you’re interested, let me know.
 
3. Work on the notes. I know I’m not going to do it, but I can at least not forget about it.
 
So that’s my plan for May. What are you up to this month?

Saturday, May 1, 2021

Zoom

Not as exhausting as some of my moms other projects, but still. What a pain.
She could not figure out why no one could see her in the Zoom meeting. It took me two seconds to discover she had the camera off.

Thursday, April 29, 2021

Language Of Confusion: Prefixes, Part II

More prefixes! Yay!
 
Re-
This one thankfully is less complicated. Re- means again, or undoing, and often it’s just used as an intensive. It showed up in the thirteenth century (I think that’s the first date we’ve had for one of these) from the Old French and classical Latin versions of the prefix. Not much else is known about this one, although I’d like to point out that it’s also red- in front of vowels, so something redact is actually re- + act. Yet it’s not react. Just… just don’t think about it too hard.
 
A-
A- the prefix is really three different prefixes, so we’re starting with confusing right off the bat The first of them is actually related to on, and it’s what’s in front of words like ahead and asleep—although it also can mean of, as in anew, and it can also also be short for ad- (to/toward) and ab- (away). The origin of this a- is unknown, but it is Germanic in some way. The second a- means away—much like the previous a-, and it comes from the classical Latin ab, away or from. The final a- prefix means not or without—like in amoral, you’re without morals. This one is actually Greek in origin, as a- meant not there, and it comes from the Proto Indo European ne-, not. And as I mentioned last week, that’s the origin word for un-. Well, one of the un-s.
 
Apo-
Apo- means of, from, or away from—which means apologetic is literally away from (apo-) collection (-leg), and no, that makes no frigging sense, but whatever. This isn’t about that word. Apo- is from the Greek apo, from, which is from the Proto Indo European root apo-, off or away. Any time a word begins with apo-, it means away from something.
 
Anti-
I don’t think this one is going to be much of a surprise. Anti- means opposed to or against, and is also just ant- in front of vowels. It’s from the Old French anti-, from the classical Latin anti-, from the Greek anti, and those all just mean anti. And it’s from the Proto Indo European… anti. Meaning against. Seriously, this word barely changed over thousands of years and through probably hundreds of languages.
 
Ante-
The almost homophone for anti-, ante- means before or in front of and comes from the classical Latin ante, before. And that word is from… the Proto Indo European anti-. Yes, it’s from the same place as anti-. The only difference is that this one never went through Greek before it came to English.
 
Sources
Online Etymology Dictionary
Google Translate
Omniglot
University of Texas at San Antonio’s page on Proto Indo European language

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

From The Spamfiles

Let’s see what stupid things I’ve received this week.

Wait until I explain to them that I’m not gay. That’s going to be an awkward conversation.

So many questions here. What is with that number? Why does it have a lowercase i stuck in there? What the hell is “amazonaws” and why do they think putting that in there makes it more legit???

It’s categorically cleared! I’ve been waiting forever for it.

I laughed way too much at someone with the name of “Flink”. That’s definitely the winning name of the week.
This feels like the digital equivalent of a cut and paste ransom note.

That’s Warren Buffett for you, always giving out money to random people he emails.

Saturday, April 24, 2021

Outside Cat

This happens every day. Multiple times. She frantically scratches at the door, desperate to get out, and then…

It is a frigid sixty degrees out. You can’t expect cats to survive in such weather!

Thursday, April 22, 2021

Language Of Confusion: Prefixes, Part I

I’ve actually already done some of these, so this is a little bit of a redux. But there are a lot of prefixes I’ve never looked at, so let’s get to it!
 
Ex-
Ex usually means out of or from, but can also mean upwards, completely, deprive of, former, or without. No, nothing contradictory there. It’s from the classical Latin ex, which means from, and that can be traced to the Proto Indo European eghs, out. If it’s out in some way, it’s ex-.
 
Dis-
Dis- (or dif-, or just di- in front of some consonants) tends to mean one of three things, lack of/not, opposite of, and apart or away. It’s from the Old French des- and classical Latin dis-, which also means apart. It goes all the way back to the Proto Indo European dis-, which is just apart or asunder.
 
De-
De- generally means down, from, or concerning, although it does occasionally act as an undoing of something, like in defrost, a holdover from how it’s used in Latin. In Latin, de means about, and it’s from the Proto Indo European de-, which also happens to be related to the origin word for to. Basically, everyone used de- in their own way, and English has traces of all of those.

Sub-
Sub- generally means under, behind, or from below, which makes sense, since sub means under in Latin. It shows up in more words than you might think, as the b tends to be dropped, or sometimes it’s replaced with an r. It’s from the Proto Indo European (s)up-, which is from the root upo, under or up from under.
 
Com-
Com- is another prefix that can be different depending on which letter it’s in front of. In some places it’s co-, in some it’s con-, and sometimes it’s col-, cor-, or cog-. But they all come from the same place and mean with or together. They’re from the classical Latin cum, with, which is from the Proto Indo European kom-, beside, near, or with. In spite of not being able to make up its mind what it wants for its third letter, it’s pretty straightforward.
 
Un-
Un- is actually weird because there are actually two versions of it that seem related, but aren’t. The first one is negation—like unheard of or uncalled for. It’s from the Old English un-, from the Proto Germanic un-, from the Proto Indo European n-, meaning not. The other un- prefix means reversal or removal—like undoing or unbuttoning. While these two un-s seem very much related, they’re not. This un- comes from the Old English on- (to be fair, that could have also been spelled un-), and that’s from the Proto Germanic andi-, and that certainly won’t be confused with un-. That’s from the Proto Indo European anti, facing opposite, before, or against. And if you’re thinking that sounds a lot like anti-, that’s because that’s where it’s from, too.
 
Sources
Online Etymology Dictionary
Google Translate
Omniglot
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

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

From The Spamfiles

Here we go again!

Now this is an interesting one. I’m sure you’re all aware my name is not Sara, though I’m really curious about something called the “Professor Jim” project, I mean, what even is that? I’m not really sure what the scam is here. I wonder what would happen if I emailed them back and told them I was Sara.

I always love when they email you from one address and then give you another email to respond to them with. Like, that’s a perfectly normal thing that people do all the time.

Wait… am I unsubscribing from the Unsubscribe TEAM? Why do you have bell emojis???

Guys. Guys. Congadulation.

At least this one didn’t misspell a common word. I’m sorry, I’m just still not over congadulation.

The Royal Bank of Canada gives great massages. Being certified is actually a requirement for working there.
 
Congadulation.

Saturday, April 17, 2021

Movie Night

It was better than the last movie my mom picked out, “Burnt Offerings” which had no burning and no offerings.
Ninety percent of it was a woman walking around naked. And somehow that was the least stupid part of the movie.

Thursday, April 15, 2021

Language Of Confusion: Strict, Redux

Yeah, doing another one of these. I have a lot of old posts that irk me.
 
Strict, without any prefixes, showed up in the early fifteenth century, where it meant narrow or small. Its meaning shifted when it started to be used in a legal sense—a narrow reading of the law became a strict reading of it, and from there it came into common usage that way. Strict comes from the classical Latin strictus, which means narrow, coming from the verb stringere, to draw tightly, and before that the Proto Indo European streig-, to rub or press. And that’s actually the origin word for strain, which showed up in the fourteenth century from stringere (by way of the Old French estreindre). It first meant to tie or fasten as well as to put through a filter, then to tighten or make taut, and then overexert yourself, then to exert something to its limit. Yeah, quite a journey on that one, although it does make sense.
 
Constrict showed up fairly late, in 1732, though constriction actually showed up in the fifteenth century, while constrain actually showed up much earlier, in the early fourteenth century. Actually, constrict actually comes from constriction, which is from the classical Latin constrictionem, restraint, from constringere, to tighten. And that word is where constrain comes from, too. The con- means together, and stringere is to tie. Constrict is to tie tight. And so is constrain.
 
Restrict showed up in the early sixteenth century, about the same time as restriction did. The words come from the Late Latin restrictionem, which is from the classical Latin restringere, to restrict. Restrain showed up earlier, in the mid fourteenth century, also from restringere. Not really a lot changed about these words. Anyway, the re- means back, so to restrict/restrain is to tie back.
 
Finally today, district. It showed up in the early seventeenth century, meaning a territory, from the French district and Medieval Latin districtus. That comes from the classical Latin distringere, which actually means distrain, which I didn’t know was even a word, but it is, and it means to seize someone’s property if they owe you a debt, a bit like a lien, I guess. The dis- means apart here, so the word literally means to draw apart. No, I don’t understand it in the least, but that’s how it is.
 
Sources
Online Etymology Dictionary
Google Translate
Omniglot
University of Texas at Austin Linguistic Research Center
University of Texas at San Antonio’s page on Proto Indo European language
Dictionary of Medieval Latin
Orbis Latinus

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

From The Spamfiles

This should be fun, right?
 
Right?

I love how reminder is in quotes. Is this some sort of ironic reminder? Is it?

Yes, diplomats are always in charge of outstanding payment bank drafts converted into ATM Master/Visas. Not a single thing suspicious about this.

Aw. He will like to be my friend.

I guess the International Monetary Fund World Regulatory Office International (how redundant can you get) does not believe in lower case letters.

Is this the same SUPPORT TEAM from before? I mean, I guess so since that was the “third reminder” and this is the “fourth reminder”. And it’s still apparently very ironic.

Remember, remember, the fifth of November. 2017, when Saudi authorities arrested dozens of the kingdom’s royal whatevers. We all know this is the opening line to a scam, right? It’s like telling someone you have a gold mine to sell them. Obviously it’s fake. Though sometimes you want to go along just to see just how stupid they think you are. Spoiler alert: insultingly so.

Saturday, April 10, 2021

Thursday, April 8, 2021

Language Of Confusion: Pulse, Redux

Time for another redo! This one’s pretty old, so it could definitely use an update. It bothers me when old things aren’t done up to my current standards. I’m sure by the time I finish updating them, I’ll have a whole new way of doing these.
 
The core word, pulse, showed up in the early fourteenth century as a noun (well, actually, there was a pulse in the thirteenth century, but it means peas, beans, and lentils and is totally unrelated to this pulse) meaning a throb, beat, or stroke. It comes from the Old French pous/pulse and classical Latin pulsus, which means drive, beat, or push. That’s from the verb pellere, to beat or to drive, which can be traced to the Proto Indo European root pel-, to thrust, strike, or drive. It actually makes sense, right?
 
Impulse showed up in the early fifteenth century, coming from the classical Latin impulsus, which means things like to push, to urge, or even to shock. It’s verb form, impellere, is really just to impel, or to push against, with the first part coming from -in, in, and the rest coming from pellere, obviously. To impel is to drive in—an inward drive. Sounds about right.
 
Repulse showed up in the early fifteenth century, as did repulsion, coming from the classical Latin repulsus (take a guess what that means) and its verb form repellere, to drive back. The re- means back, and pellere… well, obviously. It also might be obvious that this is the origin word for repel. That word showed up at the same time as repulse, although it did have the influence of the Old French repeller. To repel is to drive something back, and really, that’s what repulse means, too.
 
The rest of the words are pretty similar, although they don’t really have pulse forms. Compulsion and expulsion showed up in the early fifteenth century, though compel and expel showed up a bit earlier in the fourteenth century. Propulsion was a bit later, showing up in the early seventeenth century, and back then it meant driving away, not meaning driving forward until 1799. Propel is also a bit later than its -pel counterparts, having shown up in the mid fifteenth century, and again, meaning drive away. But then sometime in the mid seventeenth century, it started to mean drive forward, which obviously spread to propulsion. It’s actually weird when you realize pro- means forward, so propel literally means drive forward, we just weren’t using it that way for a while. As for the others, com- means with, and ex- means out, so the words are to drive with (yeah, I kind of see it) and drive out (I definitely see it).
 
Words!
 
Sources
Online Etymology Dictionary
Google Translate
Omniglot
University of Texas at Austin Linguistic Research Center
University of Texas at San Antonio’s page on Proto Indo European language

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

April Goals

Well, March 2021 definitely gave March 2020 a run for its money. Ugh. I can’t even remember what I was supposed to be doing this month.
 
March Goals
1. Actually work on those damn notes!
Ha ha, no. This was not a successful month in a lot of ways.
 
2. Work on some non-writing projects to try and recharge my creativity.
I did do this, although my creativity and desire to write still seem to be at a nadir.
 
3. Work on some new ideas I have floating around.
I did this, too, although I’m not sure when I’m going to actually work on them.
 
Goodbye, March, and get the hell out, no one wants you here. Now for April…
 
April Goals
1. Work on one of my project ideas. I have so many, it shouldn’t be this hard.
 
2. Update my etymology page. It’s been months!
 
3. Actually work on those notes! I think we can all guess how this is going to go.
 
Fingers crossed I can actually get something done this month. What about you? What do you want to do for April?

Saturday, April 3, 2021

Achievements

 This is an exaggeration, but I won’t tell you if it should be more or less.

Still haven’t gotten that achievement, though.

Thursday, April 1, 2021

Language Of Confusion: Tracts, Part IV

Last one! Finally! None of these words actually have tract in them, but they are all from the Proto Indo European tragh-, to draw or drag something along. Let’s see how they got from there to here.
 
First of all, trait. Yeah, as in a characteristic. It showed up in the late fifteenth century meaning… shot or missiles. Seriously. It morphed from that into meaning a short line in drawing and somehow from there began to mean a characteristic in 1752. No idea how it got from a line in drawing to a characteristic. It just did. Trait comes from the French trait, which yes, can mean characteristic, but can also mean line, stroke, or feature. It’s from the classical Latin tractus, which I’ve mentioned before as meaning drawing something along, from the verb trahere, to pull, and that one’s from tragh-. I guess because a line is a feature of a drawing, it’s now just a feature in general? Oh, and for the record, traitor is not related to these words at all. It’s from treason, not trait.
 
But you know what is related? Train. When it first showed up in the early fourteenth century, obviously it didn’t mean a train that people rode on. It meant a delay—like drawing something out—and then a train like an article of clothing that trails out behind you (i.e. a bridal train). In the late fifteenth century, it meant a progression or continuous course, and then in the early eighteenth century, a locomotive with a series of cars “training” after it was a train. Plus there’s also to train something or someone. That version of the word showed up in the mid sixteenth century, in the sense that training was “drawing out” a desired outcome. At least these versions of train are related. They come from the Old French train, tracks, the trail of a gown, or the act of dragging. It’s from the Vulgar Latin traginare, from the verb tragere, which is from trahere. Things dragging after something are trains.
 
And as I mentioned trail, it’s time to look at how that word is somehow from tract. It showed up in the fourteenth century, where it meant something similar to train, as in clothing that trails/trains behind you. It wasn’t until the late sixteenth century that it meant a track left by an animal. It comes from the Old French trailer, which could mean to tow or to track prey, from the Vulgar Latin tragulare, to drag. It’s from the classical Latin tragula, which actually means javelin—specifically a javelin thrown by a strap. I don’t know how that would work, but something being pulled along by a strap makes sense for these words. Tragula is (probably) from trahere, and that’s why we have that.
 
Next, distraught. It showed up in the late fourteenth century as another way to say distracted, which we already looked at. Originally, distraught was the past tense of distract, but for some reason people gave it the -ght sound instead of -ct, and then people started using it slightly differently from how they used distracted. Distraught came to mean distressed, while people started saying distracted for the past tense of distract, which is much more sensible—almost too sensible for it to be etymology. As I mentioned with distract, the dis- prefix means away, and the rest is from trahere, to pull. Distraught is pulled away.
 
The last tract word we’re going to look at is retreat, which shouldn’t be much of a surprise since treat was here a few weeks ago, although a retreat is something quite different from a treat. Retreat showed up in the fourteenth century meaning a step backwards, and a little later withdrawing. It’s from the Old French retret and its verb form retrere, and that’s from the classical Latin retrahere, which meant things like withdraw or draw back. The re- means back, and trahere is draw, so there’s nothing unexpected about this one. Though it is related more closely to tract than it is to treat. That’s typical etymology weird.
 
Sources
Online Etymology Dictionary
Google Translate
Omniglot
University of Texas at Austin Linguistic Research Center
University of Texas at San Antonio’s page on Proto Indo European language
Encyclopaedia Britannica

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

From The Spamfiles

I love it when there’s a bonus Tuesday and I don’t have to think about my goals for another week.

I shudder to think what’s supposed to be “made easy” here.

Cassiebrida??? Is that supposed to be a name? Of who/what?????

It has a copyright symbol after it. That’s how you know it’s real.

Quite a few enjoyable bits here. First is the fact that it’s asking to confirm my “unsubscribe”, as they always do. Then there’s the TM after Gmail, which like the above is how you know it’s Super Legit. Next is the space in the word Google, because they’re always misspelling their own name. And finally is the fact that I’m apparently supposed to be unsubscribing from “adulte” and dating emails. From Google. That’s a lot of stupid for one email line.

But not as much stupid as this! So I won almost a million dollars on a frigging Facebook Online Promotion (don’t know what that’s supposed to promote, or why they would even need to), and then there’s the fact that they want me to email an AOL Account to claim my prize. AOL. In the year 2021. AOL. Do you know how many serious companies have AOL accounts? I do, because the answer is a big old zero.

Yep, this is the same guy who emailed me two weeks ago. I guess he doesn’t have those finer details ironed out yet.

Saturday, March 27, 2021

They’ve Shown Up Already

I got a new laptop! It doesn’t take five hours to turn on and do the most basic tasks! I had forgotten what that was like.
It took like two hours for one to show up. For crying out loud, it’s still March!

Thursday, March 25, 2021

Language Of Confusion: Tracts, Part III

Yay, back to this. Aren’t you having fun? This week, we’re looking at more words that end in tract, which comes from Proto Indo European tragh-, to draw or drag something along. There are quite a few of them.
 
Extract showed up as a verb in the late fifteenth century, while extraction actually showed up earlier, in the early fifteenth century. As a noun, extract showed up in the middle of the century, but it didn’t mean what we know it as. Back then, it meant a summary of something written, kind of like we use abstract for today. It didn’t mean something extracted until the late fifteenth century. Funny, huh? Anyway, extract comes from the classical Latin extractus, drawn out, from the verb extrahere, to draw/pull out. Ex- means out, obviously, and trahere is draw/pull. Isn’t it nice when the words make sense?
 
Retract showed up in the early fifteenth century (retraction was a bit earlier, in the late fourteenth century), coming from the Old French retracter and classical Latin retractus, drawn back. Its verb form is retractare, to withdraw or draw back, with the re- meaning back and the tractere coming from trahere, to draw. To draw back. How sensible!
 
Subtract showed up in the early sixteenth century, though much like the other words we’ve looked at today, subtraction showed up before that, a whole century earlier in fact. Subtract comes from the classical Latin subtractus, withdrawn, and its verb form subtrahere, to withhold or take away. Sub- means from under, which is kind of weird. Subtraction is to pull something from under, I guess.
 
Protract is just like the other words here. It showed up in the early sixteenth century, while protraction came almost a century earlier, and then protractor, the tool, didn’t come until the seventeenth century and no, I don't know why a tool for measuring angles is called that, it just is. It’s from the classical Latin protractus, which means drawn along, from the verb protrahere, protract. Pro- means forward, so this word is to draw forward, which morphed protract into prolonging. But protract isn’t the only word given to us by that. Ever wonder where portray comes from? Yep. Here. It showed up way earlier than any of these words, in the mid thirteenth century, coming from the Anglo French purtraire and Old French portraire, to draw, paint, or portray. That por- used to be pro-, and the traire comes from trahere. I have no idea how you get portray from that, but there you go.

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

From The Spamfiles

Hungry for spam?

What do you mean you capitalize your last name? Next you’ll be telling me you put a space between the abbreviation and your first name.

Because this is very alarming for some reason!?????
 
This one is also alarmed, but less so than the previous one. Though they did make the same faux pas of putting the exclamation points before the question mark.

No thanks. I’ve seen what goes on in the Wonka Factory and I want nothing to do with it. It’s just one safety violation after another.

All dream marriages have at least a dozen nude selfies.

Has anyone anywhere ever received an actually important message that has emojis in the address? I’m thinking no.

Saturday, March 20, 2021

Revising

This always seems to happen.
I can already tell what goals I won’t be reaching this month.

Thursday, March 18, 2021

Language Of Confusion: Tracts, Part II

We’re back looking at tract, and all the words related to it. As I said last week, tract is from the Proto Indo European tragh-, which means to draw or drag something along. This week we’ll be looking at a bunch of different words with -tract as a suffix.
 
First, attract showed up in the early fifteenth century, meaning basically what it does today—also in a medical sense, it was used to mean how the body absorbed (as in, drawing out) nutrients. Okay, sure. Attract comes from the classical Latin attractus, attraction, from the verb attrahere, to attract. Not exactly surprising. The prefix of the word is from ad, to, while the rest is from trahere, which, as I mentioned last week when discussing tract, means to pull. To attract literally means to draw/pull to. Isn’t it nice when the words make sense?
 
Contract showed up in the early fourteenth century as a noun meaning an agreement, then later in the century, it was a verb meaning to shrink. How are those totally different meanings from the same word? Well, let’s see. The verb comes from the Old French contracter and classical Latin contractus, which again, means to shrink. The noun comes from the Old French contract and classical Latin… contractus. See, metaphorically, to make an agreement was to draw something together. And that’s what the contractus literally means. The con- means together while the rest is from trahere. A contract draws things together. So does shrinking.
 
Distract showed up in the late fourteenth century, coming from the classical Latin distractus, which actually means torn or severed. Its verb form, distrahere, means to distract or draw in different directions: the dis- means away and trahere means to draw. Figuratively, to distract someone is to draw them away from something.
 
Now for abstract. It showed up in the late fourteenth century as a term meaning nouns that don’t name concrete things, not meaning an abridgment until the mid fifteenth century, and not an art term until 1914. Though it was used in music since the nineteenth century to mean music without lyrics. It’s from the classical Latin abstractus, withdrawn, and its verb form abstrahere, draw away. Ab- is another prefix that means away, because you can’t have just one, and trahere, to draw. Abstract also means to draw away from, and for some reason it means a lot of other crazy stuff, too.
 
Finally today, we’ll look at detract. It showed up in the early fifteenth century from the classical Latin detractus, withdrawal or drawing away, and its verb form detrahere. The de- means down here, and with trahere, to detract is to pull down. That… actually makes a ton of sense.
 
Sources
Online Etymology Dictionary
Google Translate
Omniglot
University of Texas at Austin Linguistic Research Center
University of Texas at San Antonio’s page on Proto Indo European language

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

From The Spamfiles

Don’t you just love spam?
 
I can tell from your silence that you agree with me.
 
Showing me pictures of cats actually is a good way to make me smile for a while.

I’ve won… a bunch of arms I guess? Not really sure what I should do with them. Maybe go chuck them at cars.

Asking my permission for what? To have more than 18 zombies? Frankly one is too many.

I love how vague they are. They just want “the rest of the documents.” Oops, “The Rest Of The Documents.” Capitalizing every word makes it more official!

This man I never met would never lie! He’s a captain!

This is just delightful. The Anti-Spam Association! First, they insist their message is “from a trusted Source”. Then there’s the delicious bit about “Email spam is real-life spam”. Like, as opposed to what? Imaginary spam? Fake life spam?

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Temporary Interruption

 Hey, guys. No posts this week. One of my aunts died Saturday, so I’ve been dealing with that. I probably won’t be around much, but hopefully I’ll be back next week.

See you then!

Saturday, March 6, 2021

It Haunts Me

Seriously, this is what it feels like.
I did eventually find it. I threw it in the trash, and then the next day took the trash out. I have no idea what possessed me to do this.

Thursday, March 4, 2021

Language Of Confusion: Tracts, Part I

Time for another multi-parter. I do love not having to come up with post ideas.
 
Tract first showed up in the mid fifteenth century, meaning an area or a period of time. Yeah. It comes from the classical Latin tractus, which just means tract, a noun from the verb trahere, to pull. I have no idea how pull came to mean tract, but it is from the Proto Indo European root tragh-, to drag.
 
Traction showed up in the early fifteenth century, from the Medieval Latin tractionem, which is from trahere. Basically, it’s tract with -ion on the end to make it a noun, and fun fact, traction as in friction showed up in 1825, from the traction of a wheel and the surface it’s on, and traction in medicine showed up in 1885 because of “a sustained pull to part of the body to hold fractured bones in position”. Not really sure why that one’s traction, but whatever. As for tractor, it showed up in 1856, from the Latin tractor, from tract. Not much of a story there.
 
You wouldn’t believe the words related to tract. First of all, trace. It showed up in the fourteenth century from the Old French tracier and Vulgar Latin tractiare. That word is also from tractus, meaning it’s also from tragh-, to draw, drag or move. I mean, following the path of something I suppose is kind moving after it. I guess I can’t complain about it too much.
 
Now, obviously with all this talk about drag, we have to see if it’s related. Which it might be, but because this is etymology, it also might not be. Drag first showed up in the fourteenth century, meaning to draw something along the bottom of a river in search of something, not meaning to drag something in general until a century later. It’s thought to be from the Old Norse draga or Old English dragan, both of which are from the Proto Germanic draganan and Proto Indo European dhregh-, which is thought to be a variant of tragh-. Considering it means to draw or drag on the ground, that certainly seems possible, but considering this is etymology, it’s probably more likely that they aren’t related at all.
 
Finally today, treat. Yeah. It showed up in the fourteenth century, first as a verb and then as a noun. But back then, it only had to do with negotiation. A treat was a discussion of terms, while to treat was to negotiate. It wasn’t until the fifteenth century that treat had to do with treating someone with food and drink, in the sense that you’re being nice to butter them up, and then in the eighteenth century it started being to treat someone with medicine (I guess because you’re “negotiating” with the ailment). Treat comes from the Old French traitier, to deal with, from the classical Latin tractare, which means to treat, though it originally meant to drag around. It’s from trahere, so the drag part makes sense, but not how it evolved from there.
 
Sources
Online Etymology Dictionary
Google Translate
Omniglot
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
Dictionary of Medieval Latin
Encyclopaedia Britannica