Tuesday, August 30, 2022

Vacation Photos #2: Bun Sighting

Startled this guy when I went out front. Also pictured: spray paint from the DOT from when they were marking the gas line during the dreadful water pipe replacement.
rabbit on a sidewalk, which is spray painted to mark the gas line

Saturday, August 27, 2022

Vacation Photos #1: Fuzz

I spotted this little guy out on the sidewalk. Not the usual type of caterpillar I see around here.
fuzzy yellow caterpillar with long black tendrils on a sidewalk

Thursday, August 25, 2022

Language Of Confusion: Trees

Just going for an easy one today, as it’s my last post before my birthday (!!!) and I’m going to disappear for the next week or so. I can’t wait. Obviously this won’t be all trees, just the most basic ones. At least where I’m from.

Oak comes from the Middle English oke, from the Old English ac, so it was pretty close to what it is now. It’s related to the Old Norse eik and Proto Germanic aiks, which is apparently it’s final origin, as oak doesn’t appear anywhere outside of Germanic languages.
Maple showed up in the fourteenth century as mapel, and they switched those letters around sometime in the fifteenth century. It comes from the Old English mapuldermaple, from the Proto Germanic maplo-. Which, like the word for oak, is its apparent origin.
Pine comes from the Old English pin, though that word was actually only a part of other words, like pinhnutupine cone (yeah, it does sound like pine nut). It’s from the Old French pin and classical Latin pinusa pine tree. That’s traced all the way back to the Proto Indo European pi-nu-, from the word peie- to swell or be fat. In this case, the fat actually referred to the sap in the tree, though it’s still pretty crazy that fat is where pine comes from.
Elm comes from the Old English elm, and before that the Proto Germanic elmaz, so it hasn’t changed much over the last thousand years. That’s actually from the Proto Indo European el-, red/brown, which is actually the origin word for elk. So because elk and elms are both reddish brown, those are their names.
Fir showed up in the late fourteenth century from the either Old Norse word for it, fyri-, or the Old Danish word for it, fyr. Either way, both are from the Proto Germanic furkohn, from the Proto Indo European perkwu-, which was originally the word for oak. Really! It’s actually the origin word for the Latin species name of oak, quercus. They’re not even the same type of tree!!! Boy, I did not expect this to come full circle so neatly.
Okay, I’m off! See you in a couple of weeks!
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, August 23, 2022

From The Spamfiles

The last one of these for several weeks! I’m sure you’ll miss it.
message saying girlfriends always think about new clothes, jewelry, spa, and other girls’ stuff.”
Tell me you’ve never had a conversation with a woman without telling me you’ve never had a conversation with a woman.
spam message that says last seen ten minutes ago
“Last seen ten minutes ago”? Why are you stalking this woman???

spam with an email address of Congratulations, while the message says Wells Fargo is trying to give me a hundred dollars
So they’re congratulating me because I have to authorize Wells Fargo sending me a hundred dollars. I’m pretty sure they’re just throwing random words around at this point.

spam saying knock, knock, who’s there? A free knife
Man, I have so many free knives. And it’s true they’re frequently knocking.
message purporting to be from Eddie Debra saying they sent me a message at the tour site and wanting to know why I haven’t responded
Eddie Debra (?) sent me a message at the “tour site” (???) and they are shocked, shocked I say, that I haven’t responded.

Saturday, August 20, 2022


This really did turn into a huge thing between me and my mom.
me with my mom, her showing me her phone asking about the sleepy face with a bubble emoji; panel 1, she says what is this, I say the sleeping emoji, you said you wanted a nap; panel 2, she say it's not sleeping, the emoji with the ZZZs on it is, and I say it means the same thing; panel 3, she says don't be ridiculous, it has a tear, it's crying, and I say it's not coming out of the eye, it's a bubble, not a tear; panel 4, she says you don't make a bubble when you sleep, I say you don't make ZZZs either but that doesn't bother you, she says it's not sleeping, it's crying, and I yell Sleeping.
Obviously it’s sleeping, right???

Thursday, August 18, 2022

Language Of Confusion: Cooked, Not Really At All, Part II

More words related to the Proto Indo European pekw-, to cook or ripen, although these ones… well, it’s a lot less obvious.
You might think this makes sense, since a recipe is a concoction and recipe means cooking, but the truth is much stupider than that. See, when concoct first showed up in the mid sixteenth century, it meant to digest, not meaning something you make until the late seventeenth century, and a more general plan until the late eighteenth century. Concoct comes from the classical Latin concoctus, which means cooked, from the verb concoquere, to digest. Coquere we talked about a lot last week as it’s the origin for cooked, and with the prefix con-, together, the word is to cook together. And that’s how we got concoct.
Finally, something related to the ripen part of pekw-. Apricot showed up as the word abrecock in the mid sixteenth century, coming from the Catalan word for the fruit abercoc. That’s actually from the Arabic al-birquq, plum, related to the Byzantine Greek berikokkia. That one is thought to be from the Latin praecoquum, which means early ripening, possibly because apricots used to be thought of as a variety of peach that ripened early. Now this is the kind of ridiculousness I expect from etymology.
Kind of unexpected, right? Peptide is fairly recent, having shown up in 1906 from the German peptid, related to peptone, which is what they called pieces of food being digested. Peptic is much older, having shown up in the mid seventeenth century in relation to digestion. It’s from the classical Latin pepticus, peptic, from the Greek peptikos, digestive, and the verb form of that, peptein, is of course from pekw-. Well, you certainly shouldn’t be digesting things that aren’t cooked or ripened.
Yes, really. This is actually related to apricot’s “early ripening” thing. Precocious showed up in the mid seventeenth century, but originally it meant flowers or fruits that ripened early, before taking on a more figurative meaning. It comes from the classical Latin praecox, precocious or ripening early, with the prae- meaning before, and the rest coming from coquere—though in this case it means to ripen rather than its literal definition of to cook. If it’s not cooked, it’s not ripened. Or something.
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, August 16, 2022

From The Spamfiles

Do you think these might be scams?

spam message soliciting sex saying many girls can’t live without their stupid devices
“Many girls can’t live without their stupid devices”, okay, why do you have to gender that? That’s a people thing. Jerk.

yet another sex spam, this one claiming they invented a new game called sex billiard
Apparently they invented “sex billiard”. I am afraid to find out what that involves yet am horrified to admit I’m curious.

an offer for special elongation saying a guy offered his wife, ew, to African tribesmen, ew and racist, as a gift, super sexist and disgusting
Wow. I don’t know where to start, the disgusting sexism or the disgusting racism. I can’t eat the amount this makes me want to vomit.

spam from Very Urgent thanking me for my message confirmation is required two days to go, no I don’t know what that means
Better than the last bunch, but I think I need more of a palate cleanser, maybe a nice cancer widow who needs to give me her money.

yet another new twitter follower who just joined a few months ago and is nothing but pictures of an attractive woman
There’s something… off about this one. I mean, off more than usual. It’s the way she’s posed in all of her pictures, where she looks more like a doll than an actual human being. In each one, her head is tilted down in spite of it being awkward. Anyone else catching that vibe?

Saturday, August 13, 2022

Why Does It Always Happen At Night?

The road work is finally done, but that doesn’t stop things like this from happening.
Panel 1, me in bed sleeping, panel 2, me waking up to a loud thumping noise on the roof, panel three, me listening as more thumping goes across the roof, Panel 4, me saying well this is alarming,
It seriously sounded like someone walking around on the roof. You know, at midnight.

Thursday, August 11, 2022

Language Of Confusion: Cooked, Kind Of, Part I

I’m still really hot. August is killing me. So we’re looking at words related to the Proto Indo European pekw-, to cook or ripen (AKA the origin of cook).
Kitchen showed up in the thirteenth century, from the Old English cycene, which is just kitchen, and I think at least that first C used to be pronounced with the K sound. It’s from the Proto Germanic kokina, which is thought to be from the Vulgar Latin cocina, and I mean, it’d be a hell of a coincidence if it wasn’t, but that stuff happens all the time in etymology. Anyway, that’s from the classical Latin coquina, kitchen, from coquere, to cook, which is from pekw-.
Cuisine showed up fairly recently, in 1786, coming directly from the French cuisine, which means kitchen or cooking. It’s from the Late Latin cocina, which is from the coquina, so the same place as kitchen. Well, probably.
Culinary showed up in the early seventeenth century meaning related to kitchens and cooking, so the same thing it does today. It’s from the classical Latin culinarius, also just culinary, from culina, another word for kitchen, and directly from coquere. The Etymology Dictionary actually calls the word an unexplained variant! I just find that hilarious. I mean, most of these variants are unexplained unless by stretching common sense.
A kiln is an oven, of course, and it was once even used for food, so no surprise here. It comes from the Old English cyln/cylen, which just means kiln, and… that word is from culina. Wow, these words are a lot more interwoven than usual.
Finally today, something that is food rather than something about food preparation. Biscuit showed up in the sixteenth century, though it was spelled “bisket” until the nineteenth century, which really makes way more sense as a spelling. It comes from the Old French bescuit and Old Italian biscotto (you know, biscotti’s origin), from the Medieval Latin biscoctum, which means… twice baked. Seriously. It’s from the Latin phrase panis bis coctus, literally translated to “twice baked bread”. Bis is twice, coctus means cooked and is from coquere. Fun fact, biscuits were universally hard, dry, thin cakes until 1818, when the US decided it meant soft rolls, because of course they did.
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
Encyclopaedia Britannica
Orbis Latinus
Timeline of Italian Language by Dilit

Tuesday, August 9, 2022

From The Spamfiles

Spam’s back!

A spam message from a very long email address saying account recover alert, followed by fifty random letters, you read that right FIFTY
Wow. That is a lot of random letters. Do they think it makes it look more official?

A message from Facebook with a single 0 in place of both Os saying Anemul has tried to hack into my non-existent account
Wow. They didn’t even bother to put 0s in their Facebook (Faceb00k?) spoof account.

Message saying Notification, natural options to reduce dementia, except they spelled notification without the second I
The first step in helping with dementia is realizing that they spelled “notification” wrong.

Message from Dobli Kablan talking about her rich father's money, clearly setting up a phishing scam
Ah, the famous foreign girl who needs help getting her money that has been stolen by a Wicked Relative. All I need to do is wire her some money. Then some more money.
A new Twitter follower of mine named Octavia Eckmann, who has no profile pic, just joined last month, has only one follower, and is advertising an only fans that's supposedly free
Look at my most recent follower. I love that they’re “TOP2.60% of ” and they just don’t finish because it doesn’t matter, it’s all just lies anyway.

Saturday, August 6, 2022

Thursday, August 4, 2022

Language Of Confusion: Cooked

More hot words, all related to cooking, because I am totally broiling right now.
Cook showed up in the late fourteenth century as a verb, and sometime before that as a noun. It’s from the Old English coc, a cook, from the Vulgar Latin cocus and classical Latin coquus, again, just a cook. That’s from the verb coquere, from the Proto Indo European pekw-, to cook or ripen. And I’m totally going to have to etymologize that word because it shows up in a weird number of places.
Boil—as in what liquids do—showed up in the early thirteenth century, and while a boil, like a cyst, might be from the same Proto Indo European root, that’s not definite. Boil comes from the Old French bolir, from the classical Latin bullire, to bubble, from the PIE beu-, to swell. Which does make sense for where the cyst boil would come from, but you know how stupid words can be.
Now don’t go thinking boil is related to broil in any way. That would be ridiculous. Broil showed up in the late fourteenth century from the Old French bruller/brusler. Before that, no one knows, though it might be related to brew or broth. Or who knows? Maybe not.
Roast showed up in the late thirteenth century as a verb and a little later as a noun, coming from the Old French rostir and Frankish hraustjan. Originally roast meant specifically to roast on a gridiron, which is actually why it’s related to Germanic words that mean gridiron or grate. Kind of makes sense.
Sear comes from the Middle English seren and Old English searian, to dry up or shrivel plants. Yes, it had to do with plants before it became something you do to meat, which actually came about because of cauterizing wounds. Try to keep that out of your head the next time you’re eating a seared steak. Anyway, it’s from the Proto Germanic saurajan. It’s also unsurprisingly related to the word sere, which is from the Old English sear (really!), from the Proto Germanic sauzas and Proto Indo European saus-, meaning dry.
Finally today, singe comes from the Old English sengan, which is from the Proto Germanic sanjanan. Not much else to say about this one, though some people do think it’s related to sing, from the notion that singeing something produces a sound. Do you find that as stupid as I do?
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
Encyclopaedia Britannica

Tuesday, August 2, 2022

August Goals

Oh man. It’s August already? On one hand, it IS my birthday month, so cake and presents. On the other hand, August already???
July Goals
1. Continue working on notes from beta reading (still could use more!). Not sure about some parts of it, but I do want to work on it.
I did do a great deal with this, but of course I’m too distracted by my shiny new project to finish. Insert eyeroll emoji here.
2. Get my latest project underway. If it actually goes well, I’ll have to tell you about it.
I’ve been working on it! Is it going well? Too soon to say. Do I want to talk about it? I vastly underestimated how self-conscious I would be.
3. [Heavy sigh] Update my etymology page. I hate what a chore this has become thanks to New Blogger.
Ugh, yes. I hate the New Blogger interface. Hate-it-hate-it-hate-it. I just want to be able to properly space my word lists again!
July was mostly successful, I guess. Also really frigging hot and humid. Though that doesn’t really have any bearing on my goals. Now for this month…
August Goals
1. Continue work on the new project, which is serial fiction rather than a full MS, so that’s a whole new thing to learn about.
2. Actually finish the beta notes (and please don’t be too distracted by the above to do it!).
3. BIRTHDAY BIRTHDAY BIRTHDAY!!! YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
August is so far a humid mess of wildfires. What do you want to do this month?