Saturday, July 30, 2022

Thursday, July 28, 2022

Language Of Confusion: Scorched

I can’t imagine what put me in the mind of etymologizing words related to what happens when it’s very, very hot outside.
Scorch itself showed up in the early fourteenth century as scorchen. Its history before that is kind of a question mark, though it might be related to the word scorcnen, which is make dry or singe, and is another word we don’t know the origin of—it might be from the Old Norse skorpna, to be shriveled, but who knows? Not us. Funnily enough, there was actually another version of scorchen in English meaning to strip the skin off of, but that one is separate, and isn’t used at all anymore. Which is too bad, really.
Dry comes from the Middle English drie, from the Old English dryge, which is dry with a g added to it. Before that, it’s from the Proto Germanic draugiz and the Germanic root dreug-, which all just mean dry. Drought of course is related, coming from the Old English drugaþ. It’s literally dry with the -th suffix (like the end of depth or strength) at the end. And for some reason, they kept the g even after they stopped pronouncing it.
Another one with no date attached, thirst comes from the Old English þurst, and if you remember that þ is just th, then you’ll realize the word is just thirst. It comes from the Proto Germanic thurstu-, which is traced back to the Proto Indo European ters-, to dry. I’ll have to etymologize words descended from that one, because there are a lot of them, some quite amusing.
Parch showed up in the late fourteenth century, but its origin is uncertain, because words related to drying out apparently fall out of thin air. One thought is it comes from parchment, and, I mean, parchment is dried, isn’t it? You’d really think they have to be related, but it’s etymology. Who knows?
Desiccate showed up in the mid sixteenth century from the classical Latin desiccatus, dried, and its verb form desiccare, to dry up. The de-, means thoroughly here, and siccare is to dry, so the word is to really dry. About time one of these words made 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
Tony Jebson’s page on the Origins of Old English
Old English-English Dictionary

Tuesday, July 26, 2022

From The Spamfiles

Ah, spam. So reliably stupid.

 Spam message from OF COUNTRY G saying I know how to keep a man happy n apostrophe going
I think the most offensive part of this is the n-apostrophe-going. That’s just obscene.

 Spam saying read your message before it gets deleted and then saying What does your horoscope hold in the next month
What does my horoscope hold in the next month? In other words, this is a horoscope for my horoscope.

 message from Mrs. Lea Edem about a supposed business deal
I’m just impressed that she’s consistent about the name. Most of them don’t even bother.
message from an email address full of random letters saying to open it immediately for my freebie
They mean a computer virus designed to copy all your personal information. It is, as they claim, totally free.

I've been followed on twitter by Emmanuel Wangila, whose handle is emmanue (no L) followed by a random string of numbers, and the only thing in his profile is the words Am handsome
Normally it’s suspicious to have a new follower with a string of numbers after their name who’s just joined the site in the past month, but he Am handsome.

Saturday, July 23, 2022

Under Control

I definitely should not see people before I’ve done my hair.
Comic of me having just woken up and my hair is sticking out in all directions; panel 1 friend says Hey I just needed to--what happened to you, I reply I just woke up; panel 2, they say and into an explosion, and I say look, I just cut my hair short and it's really humid out, panel 3 they just stare, panel 4, they say I'll have to come back later when THAT is under control, and I say you people without curly hair think you're so special.
It feels soooooo much better. But yeah, I do look total Bride Of Frankenstein when I first wake up.

Thursday, July 21, 2022

Language Of Confusion: -Ceed, Part III

The final part looking at the words that come from Proto Indo European ked-, to go or yield. Will they be weird or disappointingly boring? Let’s find out.
First, the last actually has -cede in it: precede. It showed up in the early fifteenth century, coming from the Old French preceder and classical Latin praecedere, to go ahead/before. Prae is literally Latin for before, and cedere means to go or to yield and is what comes from ked-. So to precede is to go before.
Next we’re going back to the -cease/-cess words. Decease showed up in the early fourteenth century, coming from the classical Latin decessus, departure. Basically, it was their soft way of saying someone was dead. It’s from the verb decedere, to depart, with the de- meaning away, making this word “to go away”. Or to die if there are little kids around and you don’t want to freak them out. Interestingly—well, kind of—predecessor has retained the more literal meaning of the word. It showed up in the late fourteenth century meaning what we know it as, the person who precedes you. It comes from the Old French predecesseor and Late Latin praedecessorem, a mix of prae-, which you know means before, and decedere. A predecessor goes away before you.
Ancestor showed up in the fourteenth century from the Old French ancestre/ancessor. Before that, it was the Late Latin antecessor, a mix of ante (from the Proto Indo European ant-, meaning before) and cedere, to go. An ancestor is someone who goes before you. I can see why they dropped the te, though. “Antecestor” just sounds awkward to say.
Next, abscess, which… just ew. It showed up in the early seventeenth century in medicine. It comes from the classical Latin abscessus, which means abscess and comes from the verb abscedere, which means… to retire. Really, it’s a mix of ab-, off or away from, and cedere, so the word is “to go away from”, as in retire. And an abscess is called that because back then people thought “humors” went from the pus in the swelling.
Finally, incessant showed up in the mid fifteenth century, coming from the Old French incessant and Late Latin incessantem. The in- means not here, and the rest is from cessare, to cease, which I’m pretty sure I mentioned last week as being the frequentative of cedere. Incessant literally means “not going away”. Seems strangely appropriate to end this post on this note.

Tuesday, July 19, 2022

From The Spamfiles

I do love easy posts.
email from PayPal but with periods in between each letter telling me I'm receiving a random amount of money
There’s a lot that’s straight up suspicious about this, but the only thing that really bothers me is that there’s a period after every letter in “PayPal” but the L.

An email promising me an oxygen concentrator, which is totally something I definitely need
And here I was worrying about my oxygen concentrating needs. Whew!
 A random email address promising me four point five million dollars in used compensation
Four point five million??? Oh, wait it’s “used compensation”. That’s no good.
Yet another offer for a free knife saying knock knock who's there free knife like that's a perfectly normal thing
I do want a free knife, but I’m not going to lie, I’m worried about the fact that it seems to be knocking.
A spam from somebody whose email name is Stephanie B but who calls themself Jennifer Wood in the text, and says that she was signed up for a Zombie porn and sex meet up and the email address she found is somehow associated with me, sure Jan
They could almost pass for a real person if their email address didn’t have a completely different name than the name they use in the message. I guess their scam is getting me to email them back because we’ve both been signed up for some Zombie porn and sex meet site against our wills. Which, ugh, that’s probably a real thing out there somewhere.

Saturday, July 16, 2022

Ahhh! A Bug!

Everything she sees is a potential bug.
panel 1: me and my mom, she's screaming A bug and pointing at a blob, and I say it's a leaf; panel 2: she screams A bug and I tell her its a tuft of cat fur; panel 3, she screams A bug and I bend over and say it's just dirt; Panel 4, she screams A bug and I tell her it's not, she say that's a and I cut her off saying but it is part of one
It was a piece of a cricket, of course. Those things are always falling apart.

Thursday, July 14, 2022

Language Of Confusion: -Ceed, Part II

Part two of the words that come from the Proto Indo European ked-, to go or yield. Some of these words make sense. Some… not so much.
First, cease. It showed up in the fourteenth century, coming from the Old French cesser and classical Latin cessare, to put an end to (or, you know, cease). That’s actually from another verb, cedere, to give up or yield, and which we spoke of last week as being from ked-. Well, I guess if you cease doing something, you yield to not doing it? Does that sentence even make sense?
Next we’ll be looking at a bunch of words that have both -cede and -cess versions. Recede showed up in the early fifteenth century, while recess showed up in the mid sixteenth century, though back then it meant the act of receding, then meaning hidden/remote come the early seventeenth century. Not really sure how receding came to mean hidden, but that formed into meaning “receding into private chambers”, which became a niche (or receding space) in the late seventeenth century, and then in the early nineteenth century, a “place in recess”, as in, people not there. That was a weird journey. Recession is definitely a lot closer to recede than recess is now. Anyway, recede came from the Old French recede, recession from the modern French recession, and all three words come from the classical Latin recedere (withdraw), recessus (withdrawal), and recessionem (also withdrawal), the latter two just being different tenses of recedere. Re- means back, so the word is to give back? To yield back? Well, it kind of makes sense. Not the recess part, though.
Will concede make more sense? Probably not. It showed up in the mid seventeenth century, though concession showed up earlier, in the mid fifteenth century. Concession is from the Old French concession and classical Latin concessionem, just concession, and concede is from the French concéder and the root verb, the classical Latin concedere, to concede. The con- prefix is thought to just be intensive here (as in, just for emphasis), so to concede is to really yield. Huh, I guess I was wrong. It actually does make sense. Well, there’s a first time for everything.
Finally today we’ll look at accede, and the far more common access. Accede showed up in the early fifteenth century, while access beat it out by nearly a century and showed up in the early fourteenth century. Access is from the Old French acces and classical Latin accessus, which means something like approach, while accede comes from the Latin accedere, to approach. The prefix is from ad-, which means to, so to accede is to approach to. Well, approaching is required for accessing something, I guess. Also, fun fact, access didn’t show up as a verb until 1962, and was associated with computing. If you ever write something set before then, don’t use to access!!!
I just found that really funny.
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, July 12, 2022

From The Spamfiles

Spam never disappoints. Mostly because something so stupid can’t really be disappointing.

two spam emails, ostensibly from my email address, saying A T T N Victim
Huh, apparently I’m sending these to myself. I know I always have to say “ATTN VICTIM” in order to get my attention. Otherwise how would I know?

spam email from Sharp Ear saying your lost hair can be restored, then telling me drinking one mineral can restore my hearing
Wow. It literally starts by telling me I can regrow my lost hair and in the same line goes into telling me I can restore my hearing, like it forgot which scam it was trying to pull on me mid sentence.

Spam from someone named Blessing John, with text in Slovak, including a word obviously meaning invest
I had to use Google Translate to figure out what language it is—Slovak, a language I do not speak, but with the word “investovat” in there, I think I can figure out what they’re after. And spoiler alert, I was right.
 spam from eliminate saying they want to cheat on their husband with me ew
Okay, first of all, I can’t begin to describe how detestable I find that, second of all, eliminate???? That’s just concerning.
spam saying my site is inaccessible because of the app time and date dot come despite the fact that I don't have that app
I do believe it’s important to keep things accessible for screen readers in the like (actually, I should be more conscientious about it and start putting in image descriptions). But of course I’m distracted by the fact that I don’t even have “” anywhere on my blog.

Saturday, July 9, 2022

Backing Up

When will this be over???
three stick figures of me typing at the computer while loud noises blare in the background, most prominently the BEEP BEEP BEEP of a truck backing up; the fourth image is stick figure me saying Do they ever use their vehicles in drive or are they always just backing up
You know, when they’re not doing it in the middle of the night.

Thursday, July 7, 2022

Language Of Confusion: -Ceed, Part I

Ah, another multi-parter. I never learn. This time, it’s words that have -ceed in them (obviously), as well as -cess, since they’re usually related.
The root of all these words is cede, to yield or give way to. It showed up kind of late, in the early-mid seventeenth century, coming from the French céder, to sell, and classical Latin cedere, to give up. Huh, you give up something you sell, so pretty consistent definition, actually. Anyway, cedere comes from the Proto Indo European ked-, to go or to yield. Okay, it’s really consistent.
Succeed showed up in the late fourteenth century, while success didn’t show up until the sixteenth century, and interestingly they both originally meant to come next after (as in one person succeeding another) or an outcome, not meaning to be successful until the nineteenth century. Their origins are pretty much the same, as succeed comes from the Old French succeder and classical Latin succedere (to succeed), while success comes from the Latin successus (success), the noun form of succedere. That word is actually a mix of the prefix sub-, meaning next to or after here, and cedere, making it to yield after. Makes sense for the original definition of succeed, I guess.
Next, exceed showed up in the late fourteenth century, from the Old French exceder and exces, respectively. Much like success, excess comes from the classical Latin excessus, and that, like exceed, is from the verb excedere, which actually means to leave. One of the other definitions of cedere is to go, and mixed with the prefix ex-, out, the word is to go out. And that morphed into meaning to go beyond.
Proceed showed up in the late fourteenth century—after process, which showed up in the beginning of the century. It’s pretty much the same origin as the previous two words, from the Old French proceder, classical Latin processus, from the verb procedere, to proceed. The pro- comes from the Proto Indo European per-, forward, making to proceed “to go forward”, while process is the act of carrying something on. These origins can get very formulaic, can’t they?
Finally today, necessary. It showed up in the mid fourteenth century, but back then it was a noun meaning something needed before it became the adjective we know it as today. It comes from the Old French necessaire, from the classical Latin necessarius, which is also just necessary, and actually has a shorter noun form, necesse. The prefix here is the little used ne-, from the Proto Indo European root meaning not, making the word something not yielded to. Because, you know, it’s necessary.
That’s all for now. There will be more fun next 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

Tuesday, July 5, 2022

July Goals

Ugh, this again.
June Goals
1. Get to work on more beta reads, as well as the notes from them.
Hey, what do you know, I did this. There are still some rewrites I have to get to, though.
2. Figure out what I want to do with my latest WIP, as it’s definitely not what I want it to be.
Did not do this, whoops. I was too busy working on my latest shiny new distraction.
3. Try to do something with the query, synopsis, and all that. Man, I wish I could have someone do it all for me.
Surprisingly, I did do some work on this. It’s a miracle!
Pretty successful, I guess. In all, June was a pretty busy month outside of writing, and oh my god, the road construction outside my house that goes on all night will never stop.
Anyway, July.
July Goals
1. Continue working on notes from beta reading (still could use more!). Not sure about some parts of it, but I do know a few things that need to be done.
2. Get my latest project underway. If it actually goes well, I’ll have to tell you about it.
3. [Heavy sigh] Update my etymology page. I hate what a chore this has become thanks to New Blogger.
I think I’ll be able to complete this month’s goals, though the etymology page may make me punch a hole in my computer. What do you want to do this month?

Saturday, July 2, 2022


Seriously, this happened. Not the first time the water was shut off, but the second.
Kind of a big error to make.