Thursday, December 30, 2021

Benjamin Franklin’s Phonetic Alphabet

It’s the last Thursday of the year—somehow—and as usual, I’m doing something slightly different. This year I’m sharing the phonetic alphabet Benjamin Franklin came up with (which you should have realized by looking at the title of this post).
Apparently I’m the only one who finds it much easier to read and pronounce. I was able to get the hang of it in a few seconds. It isn’t perfect, since the letters he uses for both “th” sounds and the “sh” sound look like other variations of h, making things kind of confusing to tell apart. I also think it needs the “juh” sound as its own letter, while he uses the combination of Z and the sh letter, because seriously, I’m not spelling my name with a Z. Although that might make it cooler...

Still, I like the elimination of the letter C, which is completely useless when we have K and S. Overall, I think it’s much easier to understand. Unfortunately, no one else agreed, though it did inspire Noah Webster, the guy who shaped American English, to eliminate extraneous letters from several words, and I have a hard enough time figuring out the spelling of words like paleontology without an extra A being in there.
What do you think? What would you change about the alphabet and spelling if you could?

Tuesday, December 28, 2021

Reflections 2021

Oh man. This was definitely… a year. Frankly, it’s like looking into a mirror and seeing a monster standing behind you. And that monster is 2021. If I was better at drawing, this would be a comic.
Anyway, what was I supposed to do this year? Because I sure as hell don’t remember.
1. Finish the book I’m working on and get it edited.
Hey, I did this. It still needs work, but I am making progress. Not sure what will become of this one, but I’m not ready to give up on it.
2. Work on the other WIP idea I have and maybe even write it.
Totally did this. It’s actually pretty good, in my opinion, but of course there’s no way it’s nearly as good as I think it is.
3. Actually query last year’s WIP. Yes, I am terrified.
Ended up deciding not to do this. It just didn’t seem like an interesting enough story.
4. Possibly work on the sequel WIP I said I’d do last year.
Also decided not to do this, figuring that writing a sequel when the WIP itself wasn’t ready probably wasn’t the best idea. I decided to write something completely different instead, because of course I did.
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.
Hey, I didn’t die! Or even get sick! Avoiding people at all costs is finally paying off.
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.
Ha ha no. Not even a little. Social media is way too depressing, you know, with all the awful.
7. Not let 2021 be anything like 2020. Shudder.
Definitely failed on this one. But can you blame me?
Meh. 2021 was certainly an ordeal. Not really looking forward to 2020, 2 next year. Some things just don’t need sequels.

How was your 2021? What did you get done?

Saturday, December 25, 2021

Book Wish List

Some people are hard to shop for. Others are just weird. Which one do you think I am?
See you next week for my end of year whatever the hell I’m going to do!

Thursday, December 23, 2021

Forgot To Mention

My brother lives in Japan, though he did come home for a few weeks last March. And you know how during a big trip across the globe, little things can slip your mind.
Yes, that is seriously how he told us.

Tuesday, December 21, 2021

Saturday, December 18, 2021

Present And Accounted For

True story from this year’s shopping season.
No real posts next week. I’ll probably just throw up some old comics. But they’ll be holiday themed! Probably. Anyway, I’ll still be lurking on blogs.

Thursday, December 16, 2021

Language Of Confusion: Can You Tell I’m Cold?

I’ve already gone over several words related to ice and the cold. How about some more?
Glacier is relatively recent since they have an actual year for when it showed up: 1744. It’s from the French glacier, which, you know, means glacier. That’s from the Old French glace, from the Vulgar Latin glacia, from the classical Latin glacies, which literally means ice. That word can be traced all the way back to the Proto Indo European gel-, cold or freeze. That is indeed where gel comes from, in addition to being the origin for jelly, cold, chill, and congeal, which is just gel with the con- (with) prefix in front of it.
Flurry is another word that is quite recent. In relation to snow, it showed up in 1828, though the word did show up in the early eighteenth century meaning commotion, and then even earlier in the late seventeenth century it meant a gust or squall. Yes, that means it went from meaning weather, to a less literal usage, and then back to weather again. As to where it’s from before that, it’s uncertain. It may be imitative—so people named the word because of how it sounds, which is weird because I don’t think flurries sound like flurry—or it’s from flurr, to scatter or fly with a whirring noise. Yeah, sure, why not?
Now, I’ve already gone over what ice means, but what about the -berg part? Iceberg showed up in… 1774. Okay, I swear, it’s a coincidence that all these words are from the same time period. Anyway, it meant a “glacier humped like a hill”, and then by 1820 meant a glacier at sea. It’s actually from the Dutch ijsberg, which if you break it up, means ice mountain. Berg is actually from the Proto Indo European bhergh-, high. Icebergs look like ice mountains.
Finally today, avalanche showed up in… 1763. Did we just see snow for the first time or something??? Anyway, it’s from the French avalanche, means the same thing, from the Romansch avalantze, meaning descent. That certainly has to be the first time Romansch has appeared on this blog. It’s not a huge language, as only about seventy thousand people speak it in the Swiss canton of Grisons, and it’s made up of a bunch of closely related dialects. And apparently it gave English the word avalanche.
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, December 14, 2021

From The Spamfiles


Getting $15,000 really would have made Thanksgiving amazing.

I’m a hard fellow to find. Good thing they did otherwise I would’ve missed this overture of great financial benefit.
Okay, first of all, this post was from years ago. Next, it was about spam, and thus had NOTHING to do with being fat (both mentally and physically). But apparently all the tips mean they’re now showing improvements.

You’re being a little confusing here. First it’s telling me I have a fat loss organ (sure), but then the body of the email is about getting rid of skin tags. Unless getting rid of skin tags is the fat loss. Is that how fat loss works?

I do love when they say that to unsubscribe I have to write an actual letter to their address. Can you imagine if that’s how unsubscribing worked? Do you think there’s someone out there who has actually written to this place asking to unsubscribe???

Do post more.

Saturday, December 11, 2021

Driving Force

Gee, I can’t imagine why I hate driving.
“What idiot taught you how to drive?”

Thursday, December 9, 2021

Secret Origins: December

It’s been a long time coming. I’ve done days of the week and now all the months. What am I going to etymologize next???
December comes from the Old French decembre and classical Latin December, so no major changes in spelling except for the French insisting on reversing the R and the E. Decem is classical Latin for ten, from the Proto Indo European dekm-, which also means ten, and is part of pretty much every word related to ten in some way. As for why December means ten when it’s actually the twelfth month, that’s because the Romans had their year start in March, which did make December the tenth month.
Now, December wasn’t always the name used for this particular month. In Old English, it used to be aerra geola, which meant something like Before Yule—December was the month before Yule. January was actually aefterra geola, After Yule. I kind of prefer December and January. But I think we can all agree that the best Old English name for a month is Three-Milk, AKA May.
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, December 7, 2021

December Goals

Oh right. I was supposed to do things this month, wasn’t I?
November Goals
1. More beta reads, obviously. I need a lot of help figuring out how to improve this one.
Did get some feedback, though I can still use more.
2. Find something to work on to recharge my creativity. I’ve been feeling very blah about working on my WIPs lately.
I actually did do this, and now I’m working on writing something completely different than usual, because of course I am.
3. Thanksgiving. Ugh. Remember when this holiday used to be fun? Because I don’t.
Relatively, it wasn’t bad.
I guess you could call November mildly successful. Let’s see what I won’t be working on for December.
December Goals
1. Add 40K to new project. Will that finish it? Maybe, maybe not. We’ll see.
2. Keep working on those beta reads. I need more, as for some reason people have lives that don’t revolve around me.
3. Christmas. I’m already mentally preparing myself. Shudder.
This is the plan for December. Let’s see how it gets derailed. What do you want to do this month?

Saturday, December 4, 2021


And this was on silent mode.
This kind of thing doesn’t happen very often around here.

Thursday, December 2, 2021

Language Of Confusion: Jewelry

It is the season where gifts are being bought, and jewelry is a big one. So let’s look into it.
Jewel showed up in the late thirteenth century, coming from the Anglo French juel and Old French jouel. Its origin before that isn’t certain, but one theory is it’s from the Medieval Latin jocale, which is from the classical Latin jocus. You know, the origin word for joke. But that’s crazy, you might be saying. Well, the other theory is that it’s from the Latin gaudium, which means rejoice. I guess that makes slightly more sense.
As in the one you put on your finger, since a ring like a bell is not related. It comes from the Old English hring, ring or circle, which is from the Proto Germanic hringaz. Now that’s from the Proto Indo European sker-, to turn or bend, which does make sense for something that’s essentially a circle. No idea what happened to the K though, or why they threw an ng in there.
Now, obviously neck is a word and lace is a word, but why are they combined like that? Necklace showed up in the late sixteenth century, literally just a combination of neck and lace. As it turns out, this is because lace, when it showed up in the early thirteenth century, meant a cord made of braided silk. It wasn’t just lace as what we know it as until the sixteenth century, and before that it could mean a net or snare, or a noose. So a cord that goes around your neck is a necklace.
This one’s a bit similar to the above. -Let is a common diminutive suffix, and brace is related to arms—the word originally meant armor for the arms. A bracelet is a diminutive thing for the arms. It showed up in the mid fifteenth century from the Old French bracelet, and that’s from the classical Latin bracchiale, an armlet. Bracelets go on the arms!
Now this word I find annoying because the pronunciation makes no sense with the spelling. Brooch showed up in the early thirteenth century, coming from the Old French broche, which meant a long needle. Makes sense since a brooch is a pin. Broach is actually from the same place, since it means to pierce, like you would with a long needle. But since a brooch was specifically a piece of jewelry, they altered the spelling to something stupid.
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
Dictionary of Medieval Latin
Fordham University