Tuesday, January 31, 2023

From The Spamfiles

Yay, bonus Tuesday! I have a whole week before I have to think about the stuff I didn’t accomplish this month.

message supposedly from Instagram, saying someone requested to “recover Your Instagram password!”
If you want people to believe you’re from the company, don’t use emojis or random capital letters. Also make sure they actually have an account at that company. It’s scamming 101.

Message from Open Immediately about my WINNING NOTIFICATION, with a “ref” of random numbers, and the name Alyson in there for some reason.
Is Alyson the one giving me the money or am I supposed to be Alyson?

Message from info (ellipsis) at symbol (ellipsis) penincbusic, saying I only have one day left to avail this deal. Yes, they use avail.
I have to admit, this is the first time I’ve seen avail used in a spam message. Or any message at all, for that matter.

Message from Thank You UPS saying I received a UPS award
To think, I didn’t even know UPS gave away awards to random people. Do I get a package that was abandoned or something?

Random Tumblr follower with a bunch of random letters for a name I’ve had with a picture of a random girl (fully clothed, for a change), who is “Looking for sexy partner” with a lot of emojis thrown in everywhere, including a bowl of rice, the moon, a tongue, a donut, a pointing hand and a ok symbol hand, and a hamster.
These are the kind of blogs that have been following me on Tumblr recently. Notice the name is a bunch of random letters, but also has “Gloria” in there, as if that makes it normal. The emojis really take the cake, though. The moon? A donut? A hamster??? There is nothing good about this.

Saturday, January 28, 2023

Holiday Schedule

Great communication, guys.
Panel 1, caption “The Week After MLK Day”, a neighbor comes up to me, “Hey, they didn’t pick up my trash either. What’s going on? Is it because of the holiday last Monday?” Panel 2, I say, “Weird. It’s always been a normal schedule unless the holiday is ON pickup day.” They say, “I never heard anything about them changing it.” Panel 3, I take out my phone, “There’s nothing on the town website about it either. Hmm.” Panel 4, the next week, I’m reading the local paper, “‘Interesting article in the local paper. Trash cans lining the street all week. Apparently they changed the pickup schedule and just didn’t tell anyone.”

There seriously wasn’t even anything on the town website. If it was decided at a town meeting, no one bothered to tell anyone else about it.

Thursday, January 26, 2023

Language Of Confusion: Verse, Part IV

Back to the words that come from the Proto Indo European wer-to turn or bend. This week, more -vert/-verse words, some vert- words, and a bonus not vert word. Yay?
First, reverse and revert. Both showed up in the fourteenth century, with reverse coming from the Old French revers and revert (originally meaning to recover from illness) from the Anglo French reverter and Old French revertir. That can be traced to the Vulgar Latin revertire, from the classical Latin revertere, to return, while revers is from the Latin reversus, also from revertere. Vertere, as I’ve mentioned the previous weeks, means to turn, as it is from wer-. With the re- prefix meaning back, it’s to turn back. Fairly sensible.
Subvert of course has a very similar story. It showed up in the late fourteenth century meaning to raze, destroy, or overturn. It’s from the Old French subverir and classical Latin subvertere, to subvert or overturn. Sub- means under, so subverting is turning under something, apparently. And there’s really not much different with perverse and pervert either. Both showed up in the late fourteenth century, from the Old French pervers and pervertir, from the classical Latin verb pervertere, to pervert or corrupt. The per- is from the preposition per and means away here. Perverting something is turning it away.
Now it’s finally time for something different. Vertebra—as in your spine. It showed up in the early fifteenth century (vertebrate not until 1826), and it’s thought to be from vertere as well, with the idea that the spine is the “hinge” of the body. Plus there’s vertigo, which also showed up in the early fifteenth century, literally meaning “I am dizzy” in Latin. The verb is from vertere, because when you’re dizzy, you feel like you’re turning.
Finally today, reverberate showed up in the late sixteenth century, meaning to beat or drive back, then shortly after began to be used in relation to sound or noise. Reverberation showed up earlier, in the late fourteenth century, and originally it meant a flash of light or repercussion of air, not meaning an echo until the mid seventeenth century. It’s from the Old French reverberacion, Medieval Latin reverberationem, and the classical Latin verb reverberare, to reverberate, which is also where just plain reverberate comes from. The re- is the easy part, it just means back. Verberare means to beat or strike, related to verbena, a beating, and that is from wer- as well. So because sound turns back in an echo, we have reverberation.
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
Fordham University

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

From The Spamfiles

Spam has been surprisingly skimpy lately. I’m in no danger of running out, but still. Where are you, spammers?

Message from Mrs Irene Raya, who in the subject line misspells her name “Irere”.
Probably not a good idea to make any sort of business deal (which you know this has to be) with someone who misspells their own first name.

Message from Vivian Anderson, who repeats her name in the subject line and body of the email (twice), and for some reason has a period after her first name.
At least this one can spell her first name. Though she does seem to be in the habit of ending it with a period. It’s not Vivian Anderson. It’s Vivian. Anderson. Get it right.

Spam blog comment with lots of links to casinos, and something called “Pragmatic Play”.
Anyone else creeped out about what “Pragmatic Play” is? Because if I’m being honest, it sounds like a sex thing.

Message from Sgt. Connor, confidential, introducing herself as Sgt. Rianna Conner of the United States Army.
You’d think a sergeant would know you don’t need to capitalize the word Good.

A new follower on Twitter, with the name of “EVOL BRUTE HIS NAME JASON ETOY MASSY MASEY MASSEY”.
I’m… not even sure what this is supposed to be. What the hell is the Massy Masey Massey thing? Anyone have any ideas? How concerned should I be?

Saturday, January 21, 2023

Cloud Of Stench

It lingered in the air for quite a while.
Panel 1, I’m shopping in a store, panel 2, someone walks by, panel 3, the smell wafts over me, panel 4, hands covering my mouth, I say, “I didn’t know cigarettes came in human form.”
I know a lifetime of smoking has destroyed their ability to smell, but come on!

Thursday, January 19, 2023

Language Of Confusion: Verse, Part III

We’re back to looking at words related verse, which is from the Proto Indo European wer-, to turn or bend. This week, words with -vert in in them, which I have also done before, and now I’m doing it again along with some -verse words they’re related to.
Avert showed up in the mid fifteenth century, around the same time as averse, actually. Why is it vert instead of verse? Well, first of all, it comes from the Old French avertir (slightly different from averse’s origin), and that’s from the Vulgar Latin advertire. That’s from the classical Latin avertere, to turn away, the origin for averse, with the a- from ab-, off or away from, and the vertere meaning to turn.
Those words at least kind of seem related—avert is turning away, and averse is a more metaphorical turning away from something you’re against. But what about converse and convert? Convert showed up in the fourteenth century, specifically related to religious conversion. It’s from the Old French convertir, from the Vulgar Latin convertire, and classical Latin convertere, which is just to convert. And yes, converse can be traced back to that too, it’s just a longer journey. The con- prefix means with or together, and with vertere, converting is turning together. Uh, I guess. And that’s also a conversation?
Divert also seems weird when compared to diverse. It showed up in the early fifteenth century, from the Old French divertir and classical Latin divertere, just divert. Diverse is actually older, having shown up in the late fourteenth century—and in actuality, it’s older than that, as it used to be spelled divers in the late thirteenth century. It’s from the classical Latin diversus, different, which is also from divertere, with the prefix from dis-, meaning aside, so diverting is turning aside. Apparently the diverse means being turned all different ways—having a lot of differences.
Invert is relatively recent, having shown up in the sixteenth century, with inverse only being slightly older, from the mid fifteenth century. Invert is from the Old French invertir and classical Latin invertere, invert, while inverse is from inversus, upside down, the past participle of invertere. The in- here is from en and just means in, so to invert is to turn in, which I guess makes sense for inverting something.
Finally today, two -vert words that are obviously paired. Introvert showed up in the mid seventeenth century while extrovert was used off and on but not firmly in the lexicon until 1916 (and at first was spelled with an A instead of an O). Intro- means inward or inside, while the extro- is from extra- and means outside. Introverts turn inside, extroverts turn outside. And psychologists used the words to describe people, so that’s why we have them.
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, January 17, 2023

From The Spamfiles

First spam of the new year! Finally!!! I’m totally sick of all the introspection.

Spam from You’re Approved, with two periods in between the words, with a title saying Confirmation Needed, again with two periods between it, saying they can repair my home plain and simple
Two periods, so it’s too much to be the end of a sentence, but not enough to be an ellipsis. What are you, two periods? What do you mean???

Message from Sara RB saying Hi Robert I love you
Boy is she going to be disappointed when she finds out I’m not Robert.

Message from Confirm (with a heart emoji) saying unsubscribe from adult dating, then confirm to stop followed by a bunch of question marks
You have to subscribe to date adults? There’s something disturbing about this whole idea.

Message from Dish TV, saying I can get eight hundred forty dollars off my TV Bill with a VIP offer
Eight hundred forty dollars??? I know cable companies have a stranglehold on subscribers, but seriously how much are people paying for television? They know streaming services are only about a hundred fifty dollars a year, right?????

Twitter follower with Cyrillic letters for a name, no profile pic, the handle “Porno Aleksan”, and a link in their bio to Pornhub
Got this new follower a month or so ago, and of course they disappeared not long after. I’m surprised they didn’t at least put up a profile pic of a half-naked woman to entice me for their porn scam.

Saturday, January 14, 2023

Fallen Hero

The metal prong for plugs is not supposed to bend upwards.
Panel 1, I’m at my laptop when I hear a cat puking, Panel 2, I jump up and knock into the desk, yelling, “No! Don’t puke on the rug!” Panel 3, the laptop slides off the desk, Panel 4, I’m back, “Laptop! No!” Panel 5, I pick up the laptop, “Speak to me! Hmmm, it isn’t charging…” Panel 6, I’m looking concerned, “Come on, I put the plug back in. What is wrong with this thing?” Panel 7, close up on plug, which is bent, Panel 8, my horrified reaction, “Oh… Plugs aren’t supposed to bend that way…”
Honestly, I was worried the damage was in the charging port instead of the plug, but thankfully it was not. Still, this happened four days before Christmas, and I had to shell out ten bucks for shipping to make sure it would be here sometime before the frigging new year.

Thursday, January 12, 2023

Language Of Confusion: Verse, Part II

More on all the words related to verse, which is from the Proto Indo European wer-, to turn or bend. Once again, this week’s words have been etymologized before, but it’s not like anyone can stop me.
Versus we kind of looked at last week since it’s the Latin version of verse. In English, it showed up in the mid fifteenth century, as legal terminology—hence why it stayed in its Latin form. It’s from the classical Latin versus, obviously, meaning turned towards or against. Its verb form is vertere, to turn, and that’s from the PIE wer-, turn or bend. If legalese wasn’t so entwined with Latin, it would probably just be verse.
Next, version, which looks like it’s related to verse  though I have a hard time imagining how. Well, might as well see why. It showed up in the late sixteenth century from the French version (same meaning), which is from the Medieval Latin versionem, a translation or a turning. It also comes from vertere, so because a translation was a different “turn” of something, we have version. I guess that makes sense, but still…
Versatile showed up in the seventeenth century, originally meaning something not being constant before it changed to “able to do many things well” in the mid eighteenth century. It comes from the classical Latin versatilisversatile, and it is from the verb versare, to turn or to engage. It is indeed related to vertere. It’s what’s known as a frequentative version of the word—a verb of continuing action, like to wrestle is a frequentative of to wrest. I guess being versatile requires a lot of turns.
Now for more words that end in verse. Universe showed up in the mid sixteenth century, coming from the Old French univers and before that the classical Latin universum, the universe. The uni- is from unus, one, and the rest is versus. That means the universe is… one turn??? Funnily enough, university is actually an older word, having shown up in the fourteenth century. It’s from the Anglo French université/Old French universite, from the Medieval Latin universitatem, from universus, whole or entire (hence universe). It might still seem weird for university to come from that, but as it turns out, it’s from a Latin phrase, universitas magistrorum et scholarium: community of masters and scholars. A university is a “community”.

Diverse is kind of weird since it used to be spelled divers, but no, it is not the plural of diver. With the e at the end, it showed up in the late fourteenth century while divers showed up in the late thirteenth century [https://www.etymonline.com/word/divers] from the classical Latin diversus, different [https://translate.google.com/?sl=la&tl=en&text=diversus&op=translate]. It’s a mix of the prefix dis-, meaning aside [https://www.etymonline.com/word/dis-] here, and versus, so diverse is to turn aside. Somehow. 
Finally, controversy. It showed up in the late fourteenth century meaning a debate of “contrary opinions”. It’s from the Old French controversie and classical Latin controversia, controversy. The verb form is controversus, a mix of contra, against, and versus. A controversy is a turning against. How sensible.
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
Fordham University

Tuesday, January 10, 2023

January Goals

I can’t believe it’s January already. Someone has to speak to the manager about this, because it can’t be right.
December Goals
1. Keep plugging away at my new WIP.
A mix of holidays, computer problems, and being exhausted means I only added about 10K words, which is low for me. I’m glad I added SOMETHING though.
2. Do all the end of the year stuff I have to do.
Got this done, but it was an easy goal.
3. Now it’s Christmas, ugh.
I’m still totally wiped out from it. How is a holiday more exhausting than anything else?
Not bad, I guess. I wish my word count was higher, but whatever. Now for this month…
January Goals
1. Finish the first part of my web serial. Looks to be on schedule so far.
2. Add another 20K to my other project.
3. Update my etymology page. Ugh, it’s that time again.
All doable, I suppose. Frankly, it’s kind of a low bar at this point. Aim low, kids.
What do you want to do this month?

Saturday, January 7, 2023

Best Laid Plans

I generally plan things out.
Panel 1, December 23, I’m looking at my phone, “Okay, so I know exactly what I’m going to do over the holidays.” Panel 2, January 2, frowning down at my phone, “I did exactly nothing I planned to do over the holidays.”
“I’m totally going to sleep in and read these books and all this other stuff!” And then it never happens.

Thursday, January 5, 2023

Language Of Confusion: Verse, Part I

Kind of a redo, as I’ve done -verse before, but there are just SO MANY more words that are related that I’ve never gotten to. Seriously, this series is going to take at least two months, and what better way is there to start the year off?
Verse first showed up in Old English, coming from the Anglo French/Old French vers, from the classical Latin versus. Which, you know, means versus, or just plain verse. It’s from the Proto Indo European wer-, to turn or bend (there’s actually another wer- that is totally unrelated). That sounds weird, but apparently wer- was related to plowing and “turning” from one row to another, which was metaphorically applied to lines of writing.
That wer- really gets around, but this week, we’ll focus on words with verse in them. Adverse showed up in the late fourteenth century (adversary actually showed up a little earlier and adversity even before that in the thirteenth century). It comes from the Old French advers/avers, from the classical Latin adversus, against. The ad- means to, and the rest is from the verb vertere, to turn. When you’re against someone, you’re turning to them to face off, right? Averse is weirdly different for only being one letter off. It showed up in the mid fifteenth century from the Old French avers, and Latin aversus, turned away. The a- here comes from ab, off or away from, so averse is basically the opposite of adverse.
Converse showed up in the mid fourteenth century from the Old French converser, from the classical Latin conversari, to converse. The prefix con- means with, so with vertere the word is “to turn with”. I guess you’re turning with someone if you’re conversing with them?
Transverse showed up in the early fifteenth century, actually after transversary, which isn’t even a word anymore. It’s straight from the Latin transversus, across, where trans means across and the rest is from vertere. Transverse is to turn across, which is the first one of these to keep a literal meaning to it.
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
Fordham University

Tuesday, January 3, 2023

Resolutions 2023

Is this accurate? 2023? It still feels like 2020, the year that never ended. I’m not even sure what I should plan for this year considering how insane life has been. Pandemics and white supremacist insurrections and a spoiled manbaby wrecking a social network because people are mean to him on there (seriously, did you hear about the person who couldn’t delete their twitter so they turned it into a M*sk parody account and it got insta-banned???). It’s all kind of surreal. Whoever is writing this thing needs to get off the drugs. Because they are on, like, all of them.
I guess I should make some resolutions or whatever.
1. Keep looking for ways to promote my web serial (I am so, so bad at this).
2. Write the second part of that web serial.
3. Finish the new web serial project I’ve been working on (less seriously, I don’t have much of a plan for this one).
4. Write something else. Not sure what. I’m just assuming this will happen at some point.
5. Find a new social media to be active on since twitter is being slowly murdered. So far, Mastodon seems too complicated and Hive too shaky. There’s Tumblr, of course, but it’s, well, Tumblr. If you want to communicate entirely in Supernatural memes, it’s the place for you.
6. Work on losing some weight. Probably not going to happen, but I can try.
7. Start reading some new books. For the past few years, the only new things I’ve read have been graphic novels/comics, so I’d like to get back to reading some word novels again.
I also need to keep better track of my resolutions this year. I totally forgot to do a mid-year check in during 2022. Whoops!
What are you hoping for this year?