Thursday, September 29, 2022

Language Of Confusion: Ter, Part II

This week, more words from the Proto Indo European root ters-, to dry, and it’s starting to get weird.

Okay, weirder.
First, the ones that kind of makes sense. Tureen isn’t really used much these days so you might not know it means an earthen vessel. It showed up in the early eighteenth century from the French terrine, same meaning, from the Old French therine. That’s from the Gallo Roman terrinus, from the classical Latin terrenus, of the earth, and that’s from terra, which is from ters-.
Thirst comes from the Old English þurst, which is thirst with a different symbol for the th sound. It comes from the Proto Germanic thurstu-, and that’s from ters-, and when you’re thirsty, you’re dry, right? Also I think this is the only example of the Germanic descent of ters- as opposed to the much more abundant Latin. Clearly it wasn’t as possible with the old Germanic languages.
Next is another word that I can see work: toast. It showed up in the late fourteenth century from the Old French toster, from the Vulgar Latin tostare and classical Latin torrere, to roast. Of course that’s from ters-, as toasting something means drying it out more. And for the record, to toast as in to drink for someone showed up in the late seventeenth century (though the custom is much older and originally was used in regards to women), and apparently back then spiced toast (as in bread) was dipped in drinks to add flavor before the toast, to symbolize the flavor the toastee added to life. No, I’m not making that up. I could never come up with something so bizarre.
Let’s look at something both more and less weird. Torrent—yes, like water!—showed up in the seventeenth century from the classical Latin torrentem, which is just torrent. Before it meant a rushing stream, it meant roaring, boiling, burning, or parching, which makes sense because it’s from the same torrare that gave us to roast. Not really sure how it switched from fire to water there, just that it did. Torrid is from the same place, though at least this one makes more sense. Not a lot of sense, but more. It showed up in the late sixteenth century, but in reference to the “torrid zone”, which is basically what we’d call tropical zones now. It’s from the Medieval Latin torrida zona, and that’s also from torrere, because tropical zones are hot.
At least that one 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
Tony Jebson’s page on the Origins of Old English
Old English-English Dictionary
Dictionary of Medieval Latin
Encyclopaedia Britannica

Tuesday, September 27, 2022

From The Spamfiles

I wonder what I’ll get this week. Though nothing’s going to beat “corpsified”.

message from “Drake-Casino” asking if three hundred percent is big enough for me
I’m a little afraid to find out what this is supposed to be in regard to.

This one purports to be from the HSBC bank, which I don’t have an account with, asking “Do You Authorize Her”, with You and Authorize being jammed together, and using three question marks
Setting aside the fact that I don’t have an account with them, what bank (or any business, really) would email a customer using three question marks in their query? They really think this sounds like something a bank would do??? As you can see, it is something I would do.

messages from Twitter and Facebook—though with the letters all having spaces between them—saying my passwords have been reset, heaven forfend
Yeah, I don’t care.
message from Natalia Elanova saying “I feel alone here Do you want to disturb”
Yes, this is something normal, fluent-in-English speakers say. Granted, she might still be learning the language, but that assumes that she’s an actual human.

a total of eleven messages supposedly from Facebook saying someone called Anamul is trying to access the account I don’t have
Anamul has tried to get into my non-existent Facebook account before. Apparently today he was on fire.

Saturday, September 24, 2022

Thursday, September 22, 2022

Language Of Confusion: Ter, Part I

 This little syllable shows up in a surprising number of places. Some of which make sense considering it’s from the Proto Indo European root ters-, to dry. But for the most part, well…
First we’ll look at terra, the word for earth that shows up in a lot of things that we’re looking at today. It’s just Latin for earth, and taken from ters- because “dry land” is the opposite of the sea. It also gave us terrain, which showed up in 1727 meaning specifically ground for training horses before it started meaning tracts of land about three decades later. It’s from the Old French terrain, Vulgar Latin terranum, and classical Latin terrenum, which means the land. There’s also territory, which showed up in the late fourteenth century, from the classical Latin territorium, meaning territory. Though one theory is that the word is actually from terror instead, in the sense you chase off someone from your territory. I have to admit, that would be pretty funny, and it is certainly possible considering how stupid etymology can be.
Then, there’s inter, like what you do to dead bodies. It showed up in the fourteenth century (where it could also be spelled enter), from the Old French enterer and Medieval Latin interrare, to bury in the earth. The in- is from the Proto Endo European en, which just means in, and the rest is from terra, so inter is in-earth. Well, that was certainly straightforward.
Next a work that might actually surprise you: terrier. Yes, as in a dog! It showed up in the fifteenth century from the Old French chien terrier, a terrier dog… or literally, earth dog. It’s from the Medieval Latin terrarius, which is from terra. Why are the dogs called that? Because they were bred to follow their prey into burrows—as in, the earth.
Finally today, let’s look at some anatomy. You know which bone comes from ters-? The tarsus—the ankle bones. It started being used in English in the late seventeenth century, and it’s the literal Latin word for ankle. But of course they took it from the Greek tarsos, which is their word for hock, like the part of an animal, as well as the tarsus bones. But that isn’t the only definition it was known as. It also once meant a flat surface for drying (which is how it’s descended from ters-, which means dry), and when naming stuff for anatomy, people decided to name the flat of the foot after it, because that makes perfect 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
Dictionary of Medieval Latin
Encyclopaedia Britannica

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

From The Spamfiles

Occasionally I look at spam and say to myself “Well, this is rock bottom.” Then a message shows up that says to me, “Bring a shovel.”

spam message saying they want to have fun in bed, with the address of contusions
Um… contusions? Really? That’s the name you’re going with here? Because that is not a name that fills me with confidence.

Looks like I spoke too soon, because there is a new champion.

message from John Hunter saying they can bridge fund me, whatever that means
Ooh, they can bridge fund me. Just what I always wanted!

message from serge nine roth, a strong ambitious woman looking for a man for fun, saying they are 23, woman
“23, woman” is something a real woman definitely says.

 a spam comment I received with lots of links to call girls
Well, if I’m ever in Alwar, I’ll know where I can get a call girl. Yeesh, just looking at those links probably gave my computer a virus.

Saturday, September 17, 2022

Driving Force

My mom needed to have her eyes dilated, so I’m sure you can guess who got roped into driving her home after.
Panel 1, me and my mom in my mom's car, with me driving, panel 2, she's yelling you're going to slow, panel 3, she's yelling you're going too fast, panel 4, she's yelling you're too close to that other car are you trying to get me killed and I snap back I will drive this car into the overpass
She’s even more hypercritical than usual.

Thursday, September 15, 2022

Language Of Confusion: Not Even Close To -Fer, Part II

Yes there are a lot more of these words descended from the Proto Indo European bher-, to carry. And we’re going to look at them.
Even if they sound nothing like -fer, a lot of these words do vaguely sound like bher-. The first is bear—but not the animal, which is from a completely different Proto Indo European bher- (these words have been homonyms forever). Bear comes from the Old English beran, to bear, bring, or give birth to. It’s from the Proto Germanic beranan, which of course is from bher-. Also related is barrow—like a wheel barrow. It showed up in the fourteenth century and thought to also be from beran. I’m trying to think whether I’ve ever heard just barrow, but I can’t come up with anything.
Bring is also a -fer word somehow. It comes from the Old English bringan, to bring, from the Proto Germanic brangjanan. Before that is kind of a question mark, but it is thought to (somehow) be descended from bher-, which also means to carry, which is generally what you do when you bring something. But you know, this is etymology after all. It could just be random.
Next, burden. It comes from the Old English byrþen, which sounds pretty close to burden (it has more of a th than a d) and also means burden. It’s from the Proto Germanic burthinjo, something borne, which is from bher-. Because you carry your burdens. Finally, there’s also cumber—though these days it’s mostly only found in cumbersome. It showed up during the fourteenth century (with cumbersome in the late fourteenth century), from the Old French encombrer and combre, barrier or obstruction. It’s from the Vulgar Latin comboros, something carried together, a mix of the prefix com- together, and bher. Cumbersome is… carried together??? No, I don’t get it either. Though for the record, cucumber isn’t related at all. It’s totally its own thing.
Online Etymology Dictionary
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
Encyclopaedia Britannica

Tuesday, September 13, 2022

From The Spamfiles

It’s been a while, spam.

two messages from Samsung TV saying Your Order Has Arrived and You Have Been Chosen. One of the messages actually says it’s from Capital One in the subject line
So they’re confusing two periods with spaces, apparently. I also love how one of the messages blatantly forgets which company it’s spamming me as.

message saying thirty thousand Russian Babes Desperately Need Boyfriends
Right, because this is something I was looking for.

message from Agencja at Mini Brain, saying it’s from Mini Brain Academy, with the questionable name Stephenitess
As much as I want to question by you would want a Mini Brain, I cannot stop wondering what the hell “Stephenitess” is supposed to be. Is that a name???
Message from No Reply at Unverified dot RU, that says Irkstalker then a lot of words in Cyrillic letters
Unverified dot beget dot RU. What a trustworthy email address. I must give them my personal information right away.

Message from an email address made up of random letters, which shows a picture of a drill, the newest model yet Milwaukee Power Drill
…What kind of mailing list did I get stuck on?

Saturday, September 10, 2022

Never Long Enough

It hits me like a truck every year after my blogging break ends.
panel one, I’m typing at the computer, panel two, I abruptly stop, panel three, I stare into space, panel four, I say Oh, right, I have to start making blog posts again
Obviously I’d much rather be doing nothing.

Thursday, September 8, 2022

Language Of Confusion: Kind Of -Fer, Part I

Remember when I looked at -fer? Come on, it wasn’t that long ago. It comes from the Proto Indo European bher-, to carry, and while I looked at words ending in -fer, it turns out bher- is part of many more words than just those. So now we’ll finally look at them.
First, the last word with -fer in it: ferret. Yes, like the animal. It showed up in the late fourteenth century from the Old French furet, which is from fuiron, a weasel or ferret, or more literally a thief. It’s thought to be from the Late Latin furionem, from the classical Latin fur, which actually means thief and makes me wonder where fur comes from. And that word is thought to be from bher-, which started this mess. Similarly, furtive showed up in the sixteenth century from the French furtif, which is from the classical Latin furtivus, which means stolen or stealthy and is from fur. I guess ferrets are thieves?
Now for a word you probably didn’t expect, metaphor, which showed up in the late fifteenth century from the French metaphore and classical Latin metaphora, all of which just mean metaphor. As for why it’s a ph instead of an f, well, Latin stole it from the Greek metaphora and they liked to put ph’s for f’s when they stole words from Greek. Anyway, meta- means over or across, and the rest is from pherein, to bring, and that’s from bher-. A metaphor… carries across. Metaphorically.
A lot of other words have similar origins. Periphery showed up in the late fourteenth century, though back then it was spelled periferie. It’s from the Old French periferie, from the Medieval Latin periferia, which was peripheria in Late Latin. That’s from the Greek peripheria, circumference—or more literally, carrying around. Peri- means around, and the rest is from pherein, so it’s carry around. Then there’s pheromone, a very recent word since it showed up in 1959, coming straight from pherein, as dubbed by a couple of scientists. We also have phosphorus, which showed up in the mid seventeenth century, which is taken directly from Latin, and of course they stole it from the Greek Phosphoros, which means phosphoros, morning star or light bearer. Phos means light, while phoros means bearer (or tax, in a more modern sense), and that’s from pherein. Phosphorus carries light.
And there’s still more weirdness. Euphoria showed up in 1727 in medicine—the language it’s from is literally called medical Latin, as in the Latin those in medicine used—and in 1882 in the happy usage we use now. It’s from the Greek euphoria, which is a mix of the prefix eu-, good or well, and the rest from pherein. To be euphoric is to carry something well. And finally there’s esophagus. Yes, your throat! It showed up in the late fourteenth century right from the Greek oisophagos, which is just esophagus. Oisein might not look it, but it’s actually from pherein, while phagos means food. A throat carries your food, and that’s why we have esophagus.

Tuesday, September 6, 2022

September Goals

I’m writing this a week before the end of the month, so it’s a bit a head of schedule, but it’s also two days before I unplug from everything for a week so I’m probably not getting anything more done.
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.
It’s actually going pretty well, at least writing wise. Does anyone care? No. Do I know how to engage people? Also no. But at least I’m happy with the writing.
2. Actually finish the beta notes (and please don’t be too distracted by the above to do it!).
Did not get to this. Honestly, I’ve been very discouraged about this whole process. Writing is easy, but everything that comes next… not so much.
3. BIRTHDAY BIRTHDAY BIRTHDAY!!! YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Again, this hasn’t happened yet, but I’m assuming this is going to go well. Plus there’s cake.
Not really a successful month. And as for September…
September Goals
1. Keep writing my new project to what I think will end up being the end of the first part.
2. Figure out how to engage more readers. Ugh, I am so very, very bad at this.
3. Actually get to the beta notes and edits. I fear I won’t, but I won’t let myself forget about it.
This is the September plan. What do you want to do this month? Are you happy the seasons are finally changing?

Saturday, September 3, 2022

Vacation Photos #4: Comfy

I can’t put up pictures and not have one of Peaches.
picture of my fluffy orange cat Peaches under a wooden chair, with her chin resting on the wooden bar between the legs
She loves resting under the chair in my bedroom, where I toss my winter coat when it’s not winter. She particularly loves sleeping with her neck on the bar, because that’s somehow comfortable for her.

Thursday, September 1, 2022

Vacation Photos #3: Black And Yellow

Saw this pretty bird on my mom’s bird bath. I have no idea what kind of bird it is, I just know it’s not one I’ve seen before.
yellow bird with black wings on a bird bath