Thursday, September 30, 2021

Language Of Confusion: -Mand, Redux

Yep, another one of these.
Mandate showed up in the sixteenth century as a noun and then became a verb in the seventeenth century. It comes from the French mandat (mandate) and classical Latin mandatum, command, so the definition has stayed pretty consistent. It’s from the verb mandare, to commit or order, because the man- is from manus, hand, and dare, to give. To commit to something is to literally give it into your hand.
Command showed up in the fourteenth century as a verb and then a century later as a noun because words are random like that. It’s from the Old French comander/comand, from the Vulgar Latin commandare and classical Latin commendare, which actually meant to recommend or entrust. So with mandare, to commit, and the prefix com- is thought to just be intensive here, the word is to really commit/order. Commend, which showed up in the mid fourteenth century is from the same place—it makes sense, how shocking—just with a little different origin as it doesn’t seem to have come to us from French. I guess that explains the difference of one letter? Of course recommend is from the same place, and it showed up in English in the late fourteenth century, so not long after commend. The re- is also believed to be intensive, meaning a recommendation is something you’re really totally committed to.
Demand showed up in the late thirteenth century as a noun and a century later as a verb, although back then the words were spelled demaunde/demaunden and they meant to question. They come from the Old French demander and classical Latin demandare, to entrust, with de- meaning completely. A demand is to order completely? I guess that makes some sense. The evolution of the word—the reason we demand stuff these days—is because in French it began to be used in a legal sense, to demand as a right, and that followed into English.
To remand showed up in the mid fifteenth century spelled remaunden and meaning to send something back, and much like demand, its definition changed because of legal influence, and it became to command to go to a place by law. At least that evolution makes some sense. It comes from the Anglo French remaunder and Old French remander, and before that the Late Latin remandare, to send back word or repeat a command. The re- means back here, unlike with recommend, and with mandare, the word is “to order back”. What a sensible origin.

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

From The Spamfiles

You ready?

This one is just kind of bizarre. First the whole “Staff Shirts & Photos” thing—what does that even mean? Then there’s the fact that the message itself has one of those click here to stop receiving these notifications thing, which is basically the spammiest thing ever. Then there’s the rather mundane message asking how I am, that I could almost mistake for being real if it didn’t have a few rogue capital letters in there. Taken all together, it’s just weird.

Oh great, they’re after Greg again. Apparently they have a role that’s perfect for him.

This message is in Spanish, and I know just enough of that to be able to see what a scam this is. No one says “I have the honor of presenting a product” that isn’t trying to get your money.
Seriously, what’s with all the commas? Are you taking a really long pause???

Why is this guy’s profile pic a bedroom set??? I don’t know what “Dota” is, though it really seems like a setup for a “deez nutz” joke.
Let’s try all.

Saturday, September 25, 2021

Thursday, September 23, 2021

Language Of Confusion: -Sume, Redux

Another redo! I’ll slowly get through all the ones not up to my standards just in time to redo them all again. It’s the perfect plan to never have to come up with ideas again!
Resume—the verb, not the noun that has the accents over the e’s, which came centuries later—showed up in the fifteenth century as resumen, where it meant reposses or take something back before meaning to continue something. It comes from the Old French resumer and classical Latin resumere, which could mean resume or take up again. The re- means again, so that’s where that comes from, and the rest is sumere, to take—to take again is to resume. But sumere is actually a prefixed word itself, with the su- coming from sub-, up from under and emere, to take or buy. So to resume is… to take up from under again?
Assume showed up in the early fifteenth century meaning to take upon oneself, then in the late sixteenth century the definition we know it as. It comes from the classical Latin assumere/adsumere, to assume, to take up, or to take also. The prefix as- is from ad-, to, toward, or up to, so with the full definition of sumere, this word is really “to take up and under to”. Okay, maybe to take upon oneself makes sense, but I have no idea how we got the rest of assume from that.
Next, presume actually came a bit earlier than the other two, in the late fourteenth century, and it actually meant what it does today. It comes from the Old French presumer and classical Latin praesumere, which could mean presume or rely on or take for granted—again, pretty much what it means today. The prae- means before, so this word is something like “to take up from under before”. Which does kind of make sense. You take for granted before that you’re taking this thing. And you’re taking it up from under, I guess.
Finally today, consume showed up in the late fourteenth century, meaning “to destroy something by separating it into parts which cannot be reunited”, so it’s what we use it for. It comes from the Old French consumer and classical Latin consumere, to consume, no big changes here. The con- is from com-, which here is thought to be intensive since it generally means with or together. So consume is just another way to say to take up from under. And somehow that means consuming something. With it’s with/together prefix somehow meaning to take apart.
Try not to think about it too much.
Online Etymology Dictionary
Google Translate
University of Texas at Austin Linguistic Research Center

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

From The Spamfiles

Man, the unsubscribe TEAM really wants me to unsubscribe. I guess it is their job after all.

They say they have the answers to my questions and I was like “What questions?” before realizing that must be the question to which their referring. Like, whoa.

Wait, I had a girlfriend??? No one told me about this!

Boy, they sound really desperate for me to unsubscribe. Maybe if they had an Unsubscribe TEAM this wouldn’t happen.

Are you telling me that EXTRA89204480 who just joined Twitter three months ago isn’t followed by any of my followers? How is this possible? They are EXTRA!

Saturday, September 18, 2021

An Hour’s Drive

This actually took place on my mom’s birthday, when she wanted to go to this flower shop about sixty miles away that has all these neat plants.
Yes, traveling all that way and getting car sick was totally worth it, thank you.

Thursday, September 16, 2021

Language Of Confusion: Grains

We’re looking at types of grains this week, an idea I’ve had for quite a while now—since my look at vegetables. Time to finally see why we call them the way we do. Although I’m sure there won’t be any satisfying answers.
Grain showed up in the early fourteenth century, meaning pretty much what it does today. It comes from the Old French grain/grein, from the classical Latin granum, which just means grain, so no big leaps here. The weirdest thing about this word is how the word engrained is from the same place, but with a vastly different evolution. It showed up in the late fourteenth century where it meant to dye a fabric red with cochineal. It comes from the French phrase en graine, where graine is the seed of a plant. Now, you might be asking why they’d use “seed of a plant” when cochineal means bugs. Well apparently they thought it was actually berries. Because of that mistake, engrained basically used to mean fast-dyed, and now it’s really used in a metaphorical sense.
Wheat comes from the Old English hwaete, which is just wheat spelled differently. That’s from the Proto Germanic hwaitjaz, from the Proto Indo European kwoid-yo-, from kweid-/kweit-, to shine, the origin word for white. I guess wheat can look kind of white…
Rice showed up in the mid thirteenth century as ris. It comes from the Old French ris, from the Italian riso, from the classical Latin oriza, from the Greek oryza, all of which just mean rice. The origin gets a bit murky there, but it’s thought to be derived from some Indo source, leading all the way back to the Sanskrit vrihi-s.
Rye comes from the Old English ryge (rye), which is then from the Proto Germanic ruig. That one is derived somehow from the Proto Indo European wrughyo-, which means rye and… I guess that does have an R and a Y in it, so why not?
Oat comes from the Middle English ote and Old English ate, amusingly enough. Of course before that, no one’s sure where it’s from. One theory is it’s from the Old Norse eitill, which means nodule, and I guess that could be it, though who knows? This is etymology. It’s just as likely those aren’t related at all.
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
University of Texas at Arlington
Tony Jebson’s page on the Origins of Old English
Old English-English Dictionary

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

From The Spamfiles

Back to spam! Yay!

My unsubscribe request is being handled by the Unsubscribe TEAM. That’s how you know it’s real.

Oh, I just love this one. First of all, they spell attention wrong—twice—then they call me sir. Is it any wonder that it’s their “second email” to me without any response?

Apparently we’re getting audio messages by email now? I got to say, I like that system. Though I have no idea what the “world’s first 100% automated phone-based funnel” is. Why would you even need that? How does it WORK???

They saw me in their dreams! They must be a real psychic!!!
Look at this run of spam comments I’ve received, apparently asking me if I want to commit a crime. Which I do. Just not that one.

Saturday, September 11, 2021

Assault And Battery

I’m just trying to brush you so your fur doesn’t get mats!
I’ve never seen a cat get so mad at being brushed. Veronica never hit me!

Thursday, September 9, 2021

Language Of Confusion: -Sure, Redux

Doing another redo this week because… why not?
Sure, which really should have an H in there, showed up in the early thirteenth century meaning safe or secure before morphing to mean reliable, then confident, then resolute, and finally in 1803 meaning “yes”. It comes from the Old French seur/sur, safe, and that’s from the classical Latin securus, secure, which, yeah, is the origin word for secure. The reason for the sh- thing is thought to be because it was originally pronounced syu-, and I’m guessing sh- was easier to say and no one bothered to update the spelling.
Insure showed up in the mid fifteenth century as insuren, a variant of ensuren, which, yeah, is ensure. Both words come from the Anglo French enseurer, from the Old French ensurer, where the prefix en-, which means make here, and of course the rest is from sure. Insure and ensure are to make something secure, which, yeah, totally accurate. What a sensible etymology.
Finally, assure. It showed up in the late fourteenth century, coming from the Old French asseurer, and before that the Vulgar Latin assecurar. The prefix is from ad-, which means to, and with the rest coming from secure, the word is “to secure to”. How shockingly sensible. And then there’s reassure, which showed up in the late sixteenth century. No big mystery here. The re- means again, plus assure—to assure again. Or parsing it out even further, to secure to again.
Online Etymology Dictionary
Google Translate
University of Texas at Austin Linguistic Research Center
Encyclopaedia Britannica
Fordham University

Tuesday, September 7, 2021

September Goals

Is it time to do this already? Didn’t I just have one of these posts? Whatever. It’s September. Time to see what I didn’t get done last month, which was a lot, because I had way too much going on.
August Goals
1. Finish my editing notes on WIP 2 and hopefully get to work on them (we’ll see).
I didn’t get to this, unfortunately.
2. Get back to WIP 1 and again, work on the descriptions. I like the premise so much and think it’s really unique, and I just want the writing to live up to what I’m going for.
Or this. For my birthday month, it was way too stressful!
At least there weren’t any problems with this.
Now for this month…
September Goals
1. Get WIP 1 beta ready. I’m really trying to get this on in good shape. If anyone can take a look at it, let me know.
2. Get drafts done of the synopsis and query for WIP 1.
3. Get to the notes on WIP 2 if I have the time.
I’m probably overshooting with that last one, but I’d like to keep it on my radar. It has half as many notes as WIP 1 did, so either it’s written better or I’m way more tolerant. What do you want to do this month? You ready for the change in seasons?

Saturday, September 4, 2021


I’ve never actually seen a snail before, so I thought this was really neat. Also, I’d like to point out that this little guy was smaller than the nail on my little finger. So quite tiny.