Thursday, June 30, 2022

Language Of Confusion: Vest

This one of those words that shows up in kind of weird places. Vest has two definition, the garment you put on and the one you really only see when people say “vested”, as in having a vested interest in something. Could they possibly be related? Somehow, yes.
Vest the garment showed up in the early seventeenth century, but the other vest, to put in possession of a person, showed up two centuries before that. The two words actually diverged for a while, as the garment comes from the French veste, jacket, from the Italian vesta, a dress or robe. The other vest comes from the Old French vestir, which actually means to clothe—I guess they figured you’re only clothed in something that you’re in possession of—and that’s from the Medieval Latin vestire, from the classical Latin vestire, to clothe. And that’s where veste/vesta are from, too, and they can be traced even farther back to the Proto Indo European wes-ti, from wes-, to clothe, from eu-, to dress.
Weird, right? Most words that begin with vest—like vestibule or vestige—aren’t related at all. The only words beginning with vest that are related are vestment, like a priest wears, and vestry, aroom for garments. You know, where the vestments go. But words with vest in them are another matter.
Invest showed up in the late fourteenth century, making it older than either vest, although when it showed up it actually meant “to clothe in the official robes of an office” which we clearly don’t use it as anymore. It actually didn’t start meaning invest money until the early seventeenth century, where it was used in relation to the East Indies in the sense that someone’s capital was given a new form, i.e. dressed up in something new. It comes from the classical Latin investire, to clothe in. The in- is from en (in), plus vestire. To dress in, very self-explanatory, except for the part about dressing your money up in something new.
Then there’s divest, which showed up in the mid sixteenth century, though back then it was spelled devest. Now, divest means to strip something away, generally property and possessions. It comes from the French devester, undress, a mix of dis-, away, and vestir from the Old French, which we already know means to clothe. So to divest is to unclothe. More figurative than literal, but nothing too crazy here.
Let’s look at one of my favorite words: travesty. It showed up in the late seventeenth century meaning a “literary burlesque of a serious work”, so I guess something like a parody. It’s used pretty much the same way today, just in a more general sense. It comes from the French travesti, from travestir, to disguise, a mix of trans-, across or beyond, and vestire, to clothe. You’re in clothing, but as something else. And that gave us travesty.
Finally today, the vest word that is not a vest word. Wear comes from the Old English werian, to wear or clothe. It comes from the Proto Germanic wasin, from the Proto Indo European wos-eyo, which is from wes- and eu-. So wear is from the same place as vest, only through Germanic rather than Latin, and fun fact, to wear down is from the fact that clothes wear out.
This was certainly much weirder than last week.

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

From The Spamfiles

Uh oh. Only a couple of days left in a month. Time to start scrambling to finish all my goals.

Something’s been confirmed. I have no idea what, but it’s definitely confirmed.

Yes, I’m always emailing myself to verify my informations. It’s how they get confirmed.

“Savannah Kane” sounds like they tried to come up with the most American sounding name they could, and then their email address sounds like someone trying to come up with a Japanese name without knowing anything about Japan.

It’s somewhere lost in the ellipses.

Yes, I totally believe the president is emailing me because he used his full name and told me he was the current president. He does this all the time. We’re good friends.

Saturday, June 25, 2022

Please Let It Be Trolling

If it’s not trolling, that means this person really thinks this is how it works, and I don’t know how to handle that.
No one’s this stupid, right? Please someone just tell me no one allegedly an adult is this stupid!

Thursday, June 23, 2022

Language Of Confusion: -Fer, Redux, Part III

The last in this series that I’ve actually done before. Plus a couple that are possibly new. I’m way too lazy to double check, though. In any case, all words come from the Proto Indo European bher-, to carry.
First, indifferent. We already looked at the weirdness that is differ, and now we’re going to see why putting in- in front of it makes it so different from the not alike definition of differ. It showed up in the late fourteenth century—indifference showed up a bit later, in the mid fifteenth century—meaning impartial when it referred to people, and alike or equal when referring to things. In other words, the opposite of differ, with the in- prefix meaning notor opposite of. Apparently, two things being alike means there’s no preference for one or the other, which means you’re neutral towards them. Eh, less weird than differ.
Next, circumference showed up in the late fourteenth century from the classical Latin circumferentia, circumference. It’s from circumferre, to carry around, a mix of the prefix circum-, around in Latin, and ferre, to carry or bear. They really didn’t bother changing much with this one.
Vociferous showed up in the early seventeenth century, well after vociferation in the fifteenth century even though I didn’t realize that was a word. The words are both from the classical Latin vociferari, to shout, which is a mix of vox (voice) and ferre. To carry a voice. Has anyone even used vociferous lately?
Maybe proliferate will be more interesting. It showed up rather recently, in 1857, as a term in biology. It comes from the French prolifération, which is just proliferation, and that is actually a mix of the classical Latin proles, offspring, and ferre. So proliferation is to carry or bear offspring. Nope, not more interesting.
In that vein, there’s fertile, which shoed up in the mid fifteenth century from the Old French fertil and classical Latin fertilis, which means fertile or productive.  And that’s from ferre and so bher-. Man, how did this week turn out even more boring than last week?
So that’s the end of the -fer redux words. There are actually a ton more words related to bher-, but I think I’ll take a break from them and look at something else for a while. I’ll get to them eventually!
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, June 21, 2022

From The Spamfiles

Let’s see what ridiculous scams I haven’t fallen for this week…

A very hot, lonely model named Jacob. Usually that’s a guy’s name, so I don’t know if it’s actually pretending to be a (hot, lonely) male model, or it’s just a girl named Jacob.

Are you asking me if it’s an investment in my country or…?

In case you were worried, Greg is still getting email, though it has dropped off quite a bit. Seriously, how did I end up as Greg’s spam message service?

Yes, the FBI is always contacting people through their “” email addresses. Anything else is clearly an imposter.

Alwar and Jaipur are cities in India, so even if I was interested, this isn’t going to do me much good, unless they’re up for really long commutes.

Saturday, June 18, 2022

Fair Warning

They’re still working on the damn water pipes.
If they’re waiting until it’s happening to tell you, it’s not really a warning.

Thursday, June 16, 2022

Language Of Confusion: -Fer, Redux, Part II

There are quite a few words left to get into with this. And that’s not even getting into the ones without -fer in them, but are in fact descended from the Proto Indo European bher-, to bear or carry.
First today, offer comes from the Middle English offeren, from the Old English ofrian, kind of shocking after everything last week coming from French. But it does come from the classical Latin offerre, to offer, a mix of ob-, to, and ferre, to bear. To offer is to bear/carry to. I can’t believe it! It makes sense!!!
Transfer showed up in the late fourteenth century, from the Old French transferer and classical Latin transferre, which, you know, just transfer. Trans- means across or beyond, so it’s to carry across. Okay, after last week’s craziness with defer and differ, I expected a lot more insanity. What is going on here?
Suffer is fairly old, having showed up in the mid thirteenth century, meaning pretty much what it does now. It comes from the Anglo French suffrir and Old French sofrir, from the Vulgar Latin sufferire and classical Latin sufferer, to endure. The prefix comes from sub-, under, so the word is to carry or bear under. Man, these words are so boring.
How about proffer? Maybe that’s better. It showed up in the fourteenth century meaning to present yourself or to hand over and shortly after became to make an offer. It’s from the Anglo French profrier and before that the Old French poroffrir, which is actually a mix of the prefix pro- (forward) and offer. Nope. Not more interesting. How disappointing.
Okay, we’ll look at conifer. That has to do with trees, so that must be interesting. It showed up relatively late, in 1847, from the classical Latin conifer, which just means coniferous. The con- part does not come from com- (together) like confer does, but instead the word cone, which makes sense. Conifers are so called because they are cone bearing trees, and cone + ferre is literally cone bearing.
Lastly this week, aquifer. It showed up even later than conifer, in 1897, and it doesn’t even have a Latin equivalent. English just took aqua (water) and put it in front of -fer, because aquifer bears water. Damn it, did we do all the good words 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
Tony Jebson’s page on the Origins of Old English
Encyclopaedia Britannica
Fordham University

Tuesday, June 14, 2022

From The Spamfiles

Ah, back to spam! It doesn’t have any unreasonable expectations for me! Well, except falling for their scams.

…Go on, I’m actually interested in this one. A girl can never have too many knives.

Psychic Padre (🙄) has a Revelation from my Guardian Angel (🙄🙄🙄). Also he’s apparently judged that I’m The Asshole in the situation.

Yeah there’s no way I’m trusting supposed money from someone with a Yahoo account.

Okay, the US Department of Justice is even less trustworthy than Yahoo.

Wow, a five hundred dollar gas card. With prices what they are, they will by like one tank of gas.

Saturday, June 11, 2022


Even if this isn’t exactly how it happened, the sentiment is true.
‘Cause. You know. Reasons.

Thursday, June 9, 2022

Language Of Confusion: -Fer, Redux, Part I

It’s been a while since I’ve done a redo. Mostly because I’ve been busy with those multi-part series. And of course this one is also going to be multi-part. There are a lot of words with -fer in them!
First, confer showed up in the mid sixteenth century, but back then it meant to examine by comparison rather than, you know, conversing. About a decade after it appeared, it started to mean to consult with someone about a subject, which led to “bestow as a gift” (like to confer an honor), and about a century after it showed up, it stopped meaning compare and was really only used to mean consultingIt comes from the Old French conférer, from the classical Latin conferre, to compare, a mix of com-, together, and ferre, to bear. Ferre is also from the Proto Indo European bher-, which I’m sure I’ve mentioned at some point, and means to carry or bear, which is the root word we’re going to be looking at here. I also think we’ll only be talking about the words that end in -fer that are from bher-, since other wise this series would never end. I’m sure I’ll get to them at some point, though.
Prefer showed up in the late fourteenth century as preferren, coming from the Old French preferer and classical Latin praeferre, which is really just prefer. The prae- means before, while you know what ferre means. So to carry before, which makes sense for something you prefer.
Infer showed up in the mid sixteenth century, used in logic before it came into more widespread use. It comes from the classical Latin inferre, to bring in, clearly used more metaphorically over the years. In- means in (shocking!), so with ferre, it’s to carry in. I’m just glad it sounds reasonable.
Now, defer has two meanings, one “to delay”, the other “to yield”. And they’re actually from different words, though not too different, as you’ll see. The to delay one showed up in the late fourteenth century, coming from the Old French diferer. You might be saying “that looks an awful lot like differ,” and don’t be ridiculous, differ, which also showed up in the late fourteenth century, comes from the Old French differer. Two Fs. But yeah, before that the two words are from the same place, the classical Latin differre, to differ. The prefix comes from dis-, away from [], meaning to defer (delay) is to carry away from, and to differ (be different) is also to carry away from.
The other defer is kind of related, just not as much as the other defer and differ are. It showed up in the mid fifteenth century, meaning to leave to someone else’s judgment, which then transformed into to yield. It’s from the Old French deferer, from the classical Latin deferre, to refer. See? The prefix here is de-, which means down here, meaning defer is to carry down. As opposed to carry away. So different.
Finally today, refer showed up in the late fourteenth century from the Old French referer and classical Latin referre, to refer or report. The re- means back, so to refer is to carry back.
Well. It’s less weird than the defer/differ thing.
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, June 7, 2022

June Goals

What? This again? Ugh.
May Goals
1. More beta reads. Still need more people.
Well, it’s underway. This would probably be easier if I knew more people.
2. Finish new WIP. This one will hopefully be easy.
Actually did do this, and it was fairly easy. No idea what I’m going to do with it, but hey, it’s there.
3. Query letter.
I did do some work on it, though definitely not enough. I’m so bad at motivating myself to do this sort of thing.
So I guess this month was successful, in spite of being a hot pile of garbage otherwise. I’m really glad May is over for another year. Though now that leaves June…
June Goals
1. Get to work on more beta reads, as well as the notes from them.
2. Figure out what I want to do with my latest WIP, as it’s definitely not what I want it to be.
3. Try to do something with the query, synopsis, and all that. Man, I wish I could have someone do it all for me.
That’s what I hope to do this month. Hopefully things won’t suck quite as hard. But I won’t be holding my breath.
What do you want to do this month?

Saturday, June 4, 2022

Never Allowed To Sleep Again

Now they’re repaving the road. Fantastic.
After they finish this, they better not have to do it again for a long time.

Thursday, June 2, 2022

Language Of Confusion: Cussed Out

This week, something easy: words that have cuss in them.
Percussion showed up in the early fifteenth century, followed by percuss in the sixteenth century, while percussionist didn’t show up until 1921. Initially, percussion only meant a blow or a contusion, with it not meaning strike an instrument until 1776. It comes from the classical Latin percussionem, which meant percussion but also a beat of time, which probably isn’t why it was used for music but does kind of fit. It’s from the verb percutere, to beat, a mix of per, meaning through (and from the Proto Indo European per-) and quatere, to shake. And quatere somehow happens to be the origin of quash.
Yes, quash. But not the one used in legalese. Um, kind of. See, there used to be two different quashes, one that meant void or nullify, and another meaning to beat or crush, and they were so similar sounding that Middle English combined them into one word. The nullify quash showed up in the mid thirteenth century from the Old French quasser/casser, from the Medieval Latin quassare and Late Latin cassare, from the Latin cassus, empty, and Proto Indo European kes-, to cut. The other quash showed up in the early fourteenth century from the Old French quasser/casser, and yes, they’re spelled the same, but different definitions. It comes from the classical Latin quassare, to shake violently, and that’s from quatere, which is from the Proto Indo European kwet-, to shake. So yeah, different words. The beat/crush quash lives on more in the word squash, which showed up at the same time as quash, from the Old French esquasser/escasser, a mix of the prefix ex-, out, and quash, obviously. To squash is to beat something out!
Back to percussion, we’re also going to look at repercussion, which is pretty much the same word, but with a re- on it that makes a world of difference. It showed up in the early fifteenth century from the Old French repercussion and classical Latin repercussionem, to strike back. Which makes sense since re- means back and percussionem is to strike. It’s just these days the word is a lot less literal.
Finally today, concussion. It showed up in the fifteenth century, coming from the classical Latin concussionem, a shaking. The con- means with or together, and the rest is from quatere, so the word is “to shake together”. Except now it’s only used to describe a head injury. It actually makes sense!
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
Dictionary of Medieval Latin
Orbis Latinus