Saturday, April 30, 2022


It was quite an ordeal, really. Though the hardest part was still the damn pull chain.
It also doesn’t make a clicking noise when it’s running, so that’s a win.

Thursday, April 28, 2022

Language Of Confusion: Flats, VI

We’re still doing this! It’s week six! The Proto Indo European plat-, spread, and its root pele-, flat or to spread, are the spawn point for just so many words. Most of them you can kind of see, but some of them…
Floor comes from them, which makes sense since fields are generally. It descended from the Old English flor, which means… floor. It’s not rocket science here. It’s from the Proto Germanic floruz, from the Proto Indo European plaros, flat surface. That’s from pele-. and there’s no real explanation for why the P became an F, but that’s something that happens a lot anyway.
For another example of P to F: field. It comes from the Old English feld, which is just a field or farmland, and before that the Proto Germanic felthan. That’s from the Proto Indo European pele-tu, from pele-, so I guess the lesson here is that for some reason Germanic languages change Ps to Fs. Related to field is the word veldt. I mean, it makes sense since a veldt is basically a field, but in terms of spelling none of the letters they have in common are even in the same positions. Veldt showed up in 1785 and is Afrikaans, which of course is from the Dutch veld, which means field. I guess the Dutch switch Ps to Vs instead of Fs.
You want to know what else is related? Poland. Yes, the country. It’s actually a mix of Pole (as in the people) and Land. Pole showed up in the mid seventeenth century, actually from the Polish polanie which means clearing or field dweller. That’s from pele-, meaning that the Polish people took their name for themselves from living in flat fields. And no, no other version of pole is related, nor is polish. But polka, the music, is related. Well, probably. It showed up in 1844 and is thought to be from Polack, which is of course from Pole. And that’s polka where we get polka-dot, because people named the dots after the dance in around 1849.

And I can’t believe it, but we’re done!

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

From The Spamfiles

Spam is so uncomplicated. You know it’s all a bunch of crap going in.
I have no idea what this is supposed to be for since it just seems to be a bunch of letters and numbers—even in the email address. And of course the words that are actually words sound like someone ran it through Google Translate a few times before sending it.

Oh no. My adress was not specified correctly. How will I get my Walmart Service © now???

…Who the frig is “Mary”?????

Well, this is a new one. Someone from Gambia (but living in Senegal) wants to buy farmland in my country. She’s not even a widow with cancer! How bizarre.

Look at my newest follower, who just joined Twitter this month and is definitely a real person. Seriously, what’s with the mushroom emoji?

Saturday, April 23, 2022

Pull Chain

This was the thing that broke me.
Seriously, putting up the fan was fine, but the frigging pull chain is totally impossible.

Thursday, April 21, 2022

Language Of Confusion: Flats, Part V

This is what? The fifth one? And there’s still one more left? I really didn’t expect flat to be so prevalent. Of course, it’s really its root, the Proto Indo European plat-, to spread, and its root pele-, flat or to spread, that are everywhere. Strap in, it’s going to get weird.
First today, something that kind of makes sense. Palm showed up in the fourteenth century from the Old French paume/palme, from the classical Latin palma, where it means the palm of your hand or, you know, a palm tree. Palma comes from pele-, flat, which I can see because the palm of your hand is flat. And the tree of course is named for the palm of a hand, because the way the leaves stick out kind of looks like fingers sticking out from a palm.
Next, plaza, which kind of relates to last week when we looked at place. It didn’t show up in English until the nineteenth century, and it’s Spanish in origin, as the word plaza means square in Spanish, like a town square. The Spanish plaza comes from the Vulgar Latin plattia, from the classical Latin platea, street, and that’s from plat-. Streets were flat and spread out, and now we have plaza. And a bunch of other things.
Now we can finally get into the weird ones! Plasma—like the state of matter, or part of blood—showed up in 1712, though back then it just meant form or shape. It started to mean the liquid part of blood in 1845, and then came into use in physics in 1928, and now those are pretty much the only ways we use the word. Plasma comes from the Late Latin plasma, from the Greek plasma, which actually means creature or figure of all things. It’s from the verb plassein, to mold or build, which was originally “to spread thin”, and it’s descended from pele-. So it went from spreading out, to molding, to a figure, to a shape, to blood/ionized gas. This is definitely a thinker.
And to keep the weird going: plaster. It showed up in the fourteenth century as plastering walls or using a medicinal plaster. It comes from the Old English plaster, which was something medicinal you put on your body (as opposed to in it), coming from the Latin plastrum, plaster, and if things weren’t weird enough for you, plastrum is actually shortened from emplastrum, which also just means plaster. It’s from the Greek emplastron, plaster, a mix of en-, on, and plastos, molded, and that’s from plassein, which we already know. So plaster is plaster because it’s molded on.
Finally, I hope you love this, because we’re looking at plastic. Plastic! Really! It showed up in the mid seventeenth century meaning something capable of molding something else, and back then it was only an adjective—the noun didn’t show up until 1905. It’s from the classical Latin plasticus, plastic, from the Greek plastikos, which means something to mold. And it’s from plastos and plassein, so because moldable things can be flattened out, we have plaster, plasma, and plastic.
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
Dictionary of Medieval Latin
Encyclopaedia Britannica
Orbis Latinus

Tuesday, April 19, 2022

From The Spamfiles

I know you’re excited!

Since we’re using emojis, the one I’d use for this would be 🙄.
First of all I’m apparently emailing this to myself. Second of all… what the hell is going on with the letters? Why is every O and A in red and P in blue??? What is special about those letters?????
Well, I’m in between the ages of 35-60, but I’m not a real gentleman, so I guess I won’t be holding the door for HOTINFINIT. Tough luck.

Definitely feeling uneasy about the quotes being used here. First ‘kills’, which just makes me think it’s going to kill the user, then “speechless”, which makes me think it’s going to kill the wives, too.

…Stay away from me and my pants, Unknown Commenter.

Saturday, April 16, 2022

The Most Terrifying Time Of The Year

This exchange between me and my mom actually happened a few months ago, but I figured this would be the appropriate time for it.
If you don’t know what cryptocurrency is, it’s probably safe to assume you don’t have it.

Thursday, April 14, 2022

Language Of Confusion: Flats, Part IV

And this series has a ways to go yet. Look, there are a ton of words that come from the Proto Indo European plat-, spread and its root pele-, flat or to spread.
Not too long ago, I went over the word plant, which is another descendent of plat-/pele-, either because of leveling/flattening the earth to plant, or spreading plants across, or something else like that. A plant is a form of vegetation, so why are literally none of the words that end in plant related to that? Let’s find out. Well, maybe. Probably not.
Implant showed up in the mid sixteenth century, meaning to plant in—but not literally. It was “to plant in” ideas or emotions, and then in 1886, it took on a more literal meaning: to plant in teeth. It comes from the French implanter, to insert, a mix in- (from the Proto Indo European en, meaning in) and planter, to plant, which is of course where we get plant from. In other words, because implant wasn’t literal implanting (at first), it has nothing to do with plants.
Transplant is even older, having shown up in the mid fifteenth century from the Late Latin transplantare, to plant in a different place. It’s a mix of the classical Latin trans, across or beyond, and plantare, to plant. This one at least first meant transplanting actual plants, it’s just that in the sixteenth century it started to refer to people (i.e. transplanting from one area to another), and then in the eighteenth century it started to be used in medicine related to tissue, and no, I don’t want to think about what they were transplanting in eighteenth century medicine.
Supplant showed up in the early fourteenth century, meaning it’s older than anything except maybe plant. It comes from the Old French supplanter/sosplanter, to drive out or usurp, from the classical Latin supplantare, just to supplant. The sup- part comes from sub, under, and the plant part actually refers to the sole of the foot here, one of the many definitions of plant. So to supplant is to… get something up from under the sole of the foot? And that morphed into usurping, which morphed into replacing something? Can anyone wrap their brain around this one?
Okay, the last one we’re going to look at today will make more sense when I explain things. What is it? Clan. Really. It actually comes from Scotland in around the fifteenth century, coming from the Gaelic clann, family. The Scots actually took the word from the Latin planta, a plant or in this case, an offshoot. Why the C? Well, as it turns out, some branches of Gaelic substitute the K sound for the P sound. And that’s why clan is not plan.
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
Orbis Latinus

Tuesday, April 12, 2022

From The Spamfiles

Ah, finally. Spam is so much easier to deal with than stupid Blogger’s stupid interface that doesn’t work. And life in general.

Um, they’re calling me “Emily J Weston”. That’s definitely a new one. I might have a new pen name.

“If you received this message in your SPAM/BULK folder, it is because for your email and not because we are trying to scam you out of money. Anyway, send us several thousand dollars!”

I really enjoy how it says “Walmart?” in the message, like even it isn’t sure it’s pretending to be Walmart.

The Mo-Lottery! Way more legitimate than any other lottery!

So pornbots are sending solicitations through blog comments now? That just seems even more ineffective than usual.

Saturday, April 9, 2022


Part two of the bizarrely ongoing saga of issues I’ve had with ordering things online lately. Or not so lately.
On the packaging was the word “misshipped”. Which… isn’t really a word, but not the issue here.

Thursday, April 7, 2022

Language Of Confusion: Flats, Part III

The next part of what is sure to be a ridiculously long series because just SO MANY words come from the Proto Indo European plat-, spread, and its root pele-, flat or to spread. This week: all sorts of plains. And planes.
First, plain showed up in the fourteenth century, coming from the Old French plain, and before that the classical Latin planus, flat, which is from pele-. In English, plain originally only meant flat, but it also started to mean “free from obstruction”, like flatland is, and it came to mean simple or unembellished. And that’s why we have plain. Also explain, which showed up in the fifteenth century. It’s from the classical Latin explanare, which means to comment on or, you know, explain, and is planus with ex-, out. To explain is to flatten out. Um, metaphorically, I have to assume. And now I’m sure you’re expecting me to go over complain. Nope. It’s not related to plain or explain. Seriously.
As for the other plane, it showed up in the seventeenth century, when it was decided they needed to differentiate the geometric sense of plane (which then also got used as part of airplane). It’s from the classical Latin planum, plane, which is from planus. Plan showed up in the late seventeenth century, first meaning a drawing, then a scheme, as it’s more commonly used today. It’s from the French plan, plan obviously, and that’s from planum. Because drawings were done on flat surfaces. Well, it makes more sense than explain does.
You know what looks like plane? Planet. You know what’s in all likelihood not related to plane? Also planet. So no, we won’t be looking at it. Instead, we’re looking at place. It’s the oldest word here, having shown up in the thirteenth century, coming from the Old French place and Medieval Latin placea. That’s from the classical Latin platea, which meant street or courtyard or an open space. It’s from the Greek plateia, a square or plaza, which is from platys, wide or broad. A word we covered extensively last week.
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, April 5, 2022

April Goals

Ugh, this again. Let’s see what I didn’t do last month.
March Goals
1. Get some feedback on my new WIP. It’s a contemporary mystery about the murder of a girl. It’s character driven and very different from what I usually write, so if anyone anywhere would like to look at it and give me some guidance, I’d really appreciate it.
Hey, I did this! Of course, this was less dependent on me than on who I could sucker into ask to help me with this.
2. Try to edit the WIP I keep avoiding. I might ignore it, but I can’t let myself forget it.
This would be funny if it wasn’t so sad.
3. Keep working on my latest new project. This one should be easy, I hope.
I did finish the short story I was working on. And immediately decided to work on a new book because of course I did.
Meh. I guess I did most of what I wanted. It just doesn’t feel that way. And now…
April Goals
1. Keep searching for beta readers for my book. It’s almost like people have lives outside of me or something.
2. Work on writing the new WIP I’ve decided I have to write right now this very moment.
3. Update my etymology page, even though after a year I still can’t get the damn formatting right. Seriously, I HATE new Blogger.
What are you up to this month? Anyone able to beta read? Do you know how to get rid of the damn double space between lists of words? And DO NOT say hold down shift when you hit enter, that doesn’t work when you have thousands of words.

Saturday, April 2, 2022


I don’t know how you could mix those two things up.
It hasn’t done a thing for my hair.