Saturday, January 30, 2021

Somehow The Fourth One

My mom got a new couch, as (so disastrously) moving the last one left an empty spot in another room. She had it delivered and it came in a box where you had to kind of fit the arms into the main part of the couch. That wasn’t too bad. The rest, however…
I’m pretty sure she’s never ordering from Wayfair again. Maybe next month I can make comics about something else.

Thursday, January 28, 2021

Language Of Confusion: Pere-ing Down, Part I

This is definitely going to be several parts long, which is good, because I’m still too emotionally exhausted to actually think up new words. Everything we’ll be looking that is related in some way to the Proto Indo European root pere-, which means to produce or procure, and shows up in a lot of words which you probably won’t believe are related. For example…
Pare. You know, like you do to a fruit. It showed up in the fourteenth century, coming from the Old French parer, arrange, prepare, or adorn. That’s from the classical Latin parare, to prepare, and that one is from pere-. Paring a fruit was preparing it, so now pare means to whittle something down.
Next is kind of obvious: prepare. It showed up in the mid fifteenth century, so after pare, although preparation actually showed up in the late fourteenth century. It’s from the Old French preparer and classical Latin praeparare, to prepare. The prae- prefix means before, so prepare is to prepare beforehand. People are being really prepared.
Next we’ll be getting into some “what the hell” ones. Apparel—yes, like clothes—showed up in the late thirteenth century as a verb meaning to make preparations. In the fourteenth century, it showed up as a noun meaning fighting equipment or armor, which morphed through the century to mean clothing in general. Apparel comes from the Old French apareillier (verb) and apareil (noun), which are from the Vulgar Latin appariculare. That’s then from the classical Latin apparare, preparations, with the prefix from ad- meaning to and the rest from parare. Apparel means to prepare to. Apparare is also the origin word of apparatus, which showed up in the early seventeenth century meaning a collection of tools or a means to an end. Apparatus literally means machine in Latin, and it’s the past participle of apparare. So that’s why we have that.
Parry showed up in the seventeenth century, meaning it’s a fairly recent word. It comes from the French (that is, Modern French, not Old French) parez, parry, from the verb parer, to parry or ward off. That’s from the Italian parare, which also means to parry, and that’s from the Latin root para-, which is from the Latin version of parare. To make preparations, to ward off, you can see how they’re related. It’s also the origin for a lot of words with para- in them, like parachute, parapet, and parasol, but not all of them, as there’s another para- root word that has a totally different definition. Basically, if it has to do with defense or preparations in some way, it’s probably from the words we’re looking at today.
Okay, I think that’s all for today. Don’t worry, there’s plenty more where that came from.
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
Encyclopaedia Britannica

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

From The Spamfiles

I think we can all agree nothing will ever top Bat Fastard, but we can try.

Okay, now I’m going to look around the neighborhood because I think KIM is stalking me.

Clearly that demanding career has nothing to do with using spaces properly.

I find spam funny. I’m pretty sure no one is ever going to define my sense of humor as “good”.

Okay, you guys might not be able to read this because it’s so tiny, but the little words around “Mary Lumi” say “Top” and I really hope that doesn’t mean what it generally means when people use that.

The message is written in dashes. Hope you can understand it!

Then Adel really needs to cool it. What is up with all these spammers sending messages that are obsessive and stalker-y? Are there really people out there who find such behavior appealing??? Oh my god. They wouldn’t keep sending them out if there weren’t people responding to it. Weep for our world.

Saturday, January 23, 2021

Not Again

Part three of the somehow ongoing saga of me doing things for my mom ending in disaster. I’m really hoping there’s not a part four.
She complained to the place she bought it from. So they sent her another chair. It was the same wrong one.

Thursday, January 21, 2021

Language Of Confusion: Limit

It’s weird. I would have sword I did this one already. But it’s not on my list so here we go.
Limit showed up in the fourteenth century as a verb and then the fifteenth century as a noun. It comes from the Old French limiter (the noun being limite), which is from the classical Latin limitare, to limit. Not any big changes here. However there are some other variations for us to look at and go “What the hell?”
Eliminate is obviously related. It didn’t show up until the mid sixteenth century, and back then it specifically meant to remove something or throw it outside, not taking on its more figurative meaning until the early eighteenth century. It comes from the classical Latin eliminatus, from the verb eliminare, to eliminate, which is actually from a phrase, ex limine, which literally means from the threshold—ex means off or out and limine is from limen, threshold, which is from limitare. To eliminate is to throw something out over the threshold.
Now, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that liminal is related, although it’s actually a fairly recent word, having shown up in 1870. It also comes to us from limen, and they added the suffix -al, which means of or related to. Liminal is relating to thresholds. The word preliminary is older, having shown up in the mid seventeenth century, from the French prĂ©liminaire and Medieval Latin praeliminaris. The prae- is from the classical Latin prae, before, and the rest is limen. So a preliminary is a threshold before?
This next word might surprise you at first, but it makes sense the more you think about it. Sublime showed up in the late sixteenth century from the French sublime and classical Latin sublimus, which means upward. Which seems counterintuitive since sub- usually means under. It’s just that in this case, it means up from under, just to be extra confusing. With the -limus being from limen, sublime means up over a threshold. I guess the idea was that something sublime was lifted over a threshold of the not-sublime. Or something.
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
Dictionary of Medieval Latin

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

From The Spamfiles

I am so relieved to get to post these dumb, pointless things that have nothing to do with fascist seditionists trying to take over the country. Spam, you are a breath of fresh air.

Okay, the “Looking for a funny man” thing isn’t very original, but I did laugh way too long at “bat fastard”.

I didn’t know “Ego” could be a surname. It’s certainly not a subtle one.

Fifty eight pics? I think you’re coming on a little strong there Linda.

W… Why is there an emoji of a bear’s head? No, I probably don’t want the answer.

Must be a rigorous selection process when you can’t even use my name in place of “beneficiary”.

If you’re threatening to hit me hard, maybe that’s why I blocked you.

And now back to stress watching inauguration coverage to make sure the actually sane people who don’t want me dead get sworn in and not killed. Ha ha, I never expected my life to be like this, I don’t know how to make it stop.

Saturday, January 16, 2021

Simple Enough

Well, last weekend was real fun for me. My mom asked me and my nephew to help her move a couch.
It was literally one inch too wide for the doorway. One frigging inch.

Thursday, January 14, 2021

Language Of Confusion: Tend, Part II

More tend words! As you’ll recall from last week (as I assume you all have my posts memorized), tend comes from the Proto Indo European ten-, which means stretch. And, well, that definition has been stretched to a lot of meanings.
Pretend showed up in the late fourteenth century as pretenden, meaning to profess or make a claim. It was from there it morphed into meaning to make a false claim and the pretend we know today. The word is from the Old French pretendre, from the classical Latin praetendere, to excuse. Yeah. Now obviously, excuse wasn’t the only definition, just the main one. It also meant to stretch in front of, spread before, or to put forward—as an excuse. It’s a mix of the prefix prae-, before, and tendere, to stretch, and that’s from the PIE ten-. To pretend is to stretch before. Sure, why not?
Contend showed up in the mid fifteenth century from the Old French contendre and classical Latin contendere, contend. In other words, it’s origin is pretty much the same as pretend. But in addition to meaning contend in Latin, it also meant to stretch out, to throw, or to strive for, which is how it got to mean, well, contend. It’s a mix of the prefix com-, which is thought to be just intensive here, and tendere. To contend is to really stretch something.
Next, intend showed up in the fourteenth century as entenden, and it meant to pay attention to something before meaning to have a purpose for something. It’s from the Old French entendre, from the classical Latin intendere, to concentrate on something. The in- means toward, and with tendere means the word is to stretch towards… Yeah, I can see it.
Now we’ll get into some words with more literal meanings. Kind of. Extend showed up in the early fourteenth century, but back then it meant to value or assess, meaning it was actually way more figurative before it came to mean lengthen/straighten. It’s from the Old French estendre and classical Latin extendere, to extend, with ex- meaning out. To extend is to stretch out. I can’t believe the word has actually only become more literal over the years.
Finally, distend. It showed up in the fifteenth century and unlike the rest of the words here, meant the same thing as it does today. It comes from the classical Latin distendere, to distend, with dis- meaning apart here. To distend is to stretch apart. How impressively unchanging it’s been over the years.
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, January 12, 2021

January Goals

I have my yearly goals down, so I suppose it’s time to do this. Plus I usually just copy and paste my goals in and add my notes on them because, you know, that’s way easier, but for some reason pasting between Word documents is causing it to come out in a weird format I’ve never used in my life. Even removing the formatting didn’t really work because for some reason they’re in all uppercase so it looks like I’m shouting. So now I have to type them in by hand, like some sort of animal.
I know there are far more pressing things to worry about right now, but man. Frigging Word.
December Goals
1. Update etymology page. I’m still trying to get rid of those damn double spaces between the words.
I updated it, but I still have no idea how to get rid of those double spaces. No, going in and removing them by hand doesn’t work at all. What the hell is it with formatting issues this month?????
2. More beta reads. My book definitely needs more opinions.
Well, it’s underway!
3. Figure out what project I want to work on next.
Considering I’m more than halfway through a first draft, I think I’ve done this.
At least something has gone right last month. Now for this month…
January Goals
1. Finish the book I started writing (or at least get close, depending on how long it ends up).
2. Finish work on more beta notes.
3. Get my query ready (gulp).
Let’s see how these get derailed over the next few weeks. What are your hopes for January?

Saturday, January 9, 2021


My mom got a new computer! Guess who has to set it up for her. And of course the instructions were all in pictures because no one wants to have to translate anything.

Seriously, I have absolutely no idea what they were trying to say. I figured it out, but not from the damn pictures.

Thursday, January 7, 2021

Language Of Confusion: -Tend, Part I

First etymology post of the new year! Whoo! This is another one of those ones I can’t believe I haven’t done before. Words with tend in them aren’t uncommon, and yet is somehow never occurred to me to look at it. I have however looked at other words the prefix is related to, namely those that end in -tain. But that was a while ago anyway, so it’ll be all brand new for you.
First of course we’re looking at tend. It showed up in the early fourteenth century, coming from the Old French tendre, which means to stretch out, hold forth, or hand over. Yeah, I’m not getting the logic there. Tendre is from the classical Latin tendere, to stretch, make tense, aim or direct something, from the Proto Indo European ten-, to stretch. So, I guess the English definition of to incline in a certain way comes from this. These days, we mostly use tend in the sense of tending to something. Weirdly enough, that one is actually a shortened form of attend. Even weirder, it showed up before the other tend, sometime in the thirteenth century.
Now we’re obviously looking at attend. It showed up in the fourteenth century, though back then it meant either to be subject to or “to direct one’s minds or energies”. The to take care of definition showed up a little after that in  the mid fourteenth century, and then it became to pay attention, or render service to someone. Attend is from the Old French atendre, to expect, wait for, or pay attention, from the classical Latin attendere, to pay attention. The at- is from ad, to, and with tendere, to stretch, the word literally means to stretch to. Apparently it was supposed to be metaphorical, like stretching your mind to something is giving it attention. I guess that makes sense.
Let’s go in a different direction and look at words that begin with tend. Tender has a couple of different definitions, one being to offer formally (including the term legal tender) and the other meaning easily injured. The latter is the earlier definition, showing up in the early thirteenth century, while the formal one came from that in the mid sixteenth century, though I have no idea why. The word is from the Old French tendre, which unlike the above tendre means soft, delicate, or young here. That of course is from the classical Latin tener, which means young or soft, which is from the PIE ten-, to stretch. Apparently stretch made them think of thin, which made them think of weak, hence soft and young.
Tendency showed up in the mid seventeenth century, making it the youngest word here. Tender, if you would. It comes from the Medieval Latin tendentia, inclination or leaning, from the classical Latin tendens, stretching, which is from tendere. Meaning tendency is actually related to tend more closely than tender is.
Finally today, tendon. It showed up in the mid sixteenth century from the Medieval Latin tendonem, from the Late Latin tenon, which is from the Greek tenon, which means tendon. It’s from the Proto Indo European ten-on-, something stretched, from ten-, to stretch. And because the Greeks did a lot of studying on anatomy, they were the ones who named everything.
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
Dictionary of Medieval Latin
Orbis Latinus
National Library of Medicine

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Resolutions 2021

Oh, man. I got to do this again. Let’s see what yearly goals I make for myself that I promptly forget about!
1. Finish the book I’m working on and get it edited.
2. Work on the other WIP idea I have and maybe even write it.
3. Actually query last year’s WIP. Yes, I am terrified.
4. Possibly work on the sequel WIP I said I’d do last year.
5. Not die from the illness that’s killing hundreds of thousands of people in my country because people are dumbasses who refuse to wear masks or accept that it’s a dangerous disease.
6. Try to engage more with social media. I know, that seems crazy. Who would want to? I certainly have no idea how to do it.
7. Not let 2021 be anything like 2020. Shudder.

What do you want to do in 2021?

Saturday, January 2, 2021

December 31

I swear, “This year couldn’t possibly be any worse than the last” isn’t a challenge.