Tuesday, February 28, 2023

From The Spamfiles

Last day of February! And it’s a spam day!

Message from Final Warning, with big red X’s on either side of it, then in the subject line it says Final Warning again, this time surrounded by red O’s, and it’s saying Please confirm receipt.
Are they trying to warn me or start a game of tic-tac-toe?

Message from Samuel Barcliff, saying RE: Loan Seekers and Investment Matters Only.
Good news! I want neither of those things!

Message from Russian Women Dating saying Sometimes We’Re Too busy To Date, So Why Not Get Right To The Point?
Yes, that’s pretty much the definition of sex work.

Message from Technical Glass And A. (no idea what that A is supposed to abbreviate), saying Attention ATM Card Owner, This is the 3rd time I’m sending you…
Ah, yes, that well known bank Technical Glass & A. They have branches all over the world!

 Another Tumblr follower, this one named Gruellub31, the blog untitled, and the profile a picture of a woman with obviously fake breasts.
Okay, you might not be too aware of how Tumblr works, but there are a lot of things normal for other social media that are simply not done there, the most egregious being having a profile pic of an actual person. Like, ninety five percent of blogs there do NOT have people for a profile, but literally anything else, including animals, drawings, and random pictures. Just definitely not a person and certainly not one with big, round globes on her chest. You’ll also notice the name she chose is “Gruellub31”, which would be totally bizarre on any other site, but is actually the most Tumblr thing about this follower.

Saturday, February 25, 2023


The takeaway here should be that my mom just doesn’t listen to me when I talk.
Panel 1, I’m at my mom’s and we’re watching a movie like we do every super bowl Sunday, she says, “You ready to watch the movie?” Panel 2, I say, “Sure, but why are you on Netflix? The movie you showed me was on Amazon.” and she says, “So?” Panel 3, I stare at her, eyebrows pulled together, Panel 4, she goes “Wait, shit.” and I say, “There it is.”

And no, there’s nothing wrong with her hearing. Her listening, however…

Thursday, February 23, 2023

Language Of Confusion: Verse, Part VIII

Yet another part in our look at words descended from the Proto Indo European wer-to turn or bend. These ones all start with “wr”.
First, a word that I believe I mentioned before: wrist. It comes from the Old English wrist, so no big changes in recent history, and before that the Proto Germanic wristiz. That’s from the Proto Indo European wreik-, to turn, from wer-, because wrists turn and bend.
Next is wrinkle, which… I guess I can see it. It showed up in the early fifteenth century and is thought to be from the Old English word gewrinclod, wrinkled, crooked, or winding, and it would be so stupid if it isn’t related to wrinkle, and so typical of etymology. Anyway, that’s from wrinclian, to wind, from the Proto Germanic wrankjan, from wergh-, another word I’ve mentioned in previous weeks as being related to wer-. I mean, wrinkles are kind of turns, when something gets all bunched up, the surface is turning.
Then there’s wreath, from the Old English wriða, a bandage or band, or a fillet. Um, yeah, it didn’t mean wreath at first, but then in the mid sixteenth century, it started to be used to mean a garland, which makes sense, a wreath “turns” in a circle. It’s from the Proto Germanic writh-, from the Proto Indo European wreit-, to turn or bend, another offshoot of wer-. But seriously, fillet???
Because things can always get weirder, there’s wrath. It comes from the Old English wraeþþu, wrath, from wroð, anger or wroth. Wroth is actually the earlier word, from the Proto Germanic wraith- (which is NOT related to wraith), while wrath is actually wraith- plus the Proto Germanic suffix -itho, which is actually the ending for words like strength and depth. So wrath is wroth-th. Anyway, wraith- is from wreit-, which is from wer-, and there’s no real explanation as to how turning changed into anger. Maybe because anger is turned against someone?
Finally today is wrong of all words. It actually meant twisted or crooked in Old English, and then in the fourteenth century became what we know it as because it was used to mean the opposite of right, which also meant straight. Wrong is actually from the Old Norse rangr/vrangr, from the Proto Germanic wrang-. That’s from wrengh-, a variant of wergh-, from wer-. Wrong is wrong because it is twisted, and right means straight.
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

Tuesday, February 21, 2023

From The Spamfiles

Spam day! Yay!

…I can hear your excitement from here.

Message from “Surgecard” saying I’m prequalified for The Surge card.
Ooh, the very well known Surgecard. Or maybe it’s The Surge card, with The capitalized but not card.

Message from a long and strange email address, with the person introducing themselves as Mrs. Margot EDGAR (all caps!), saying “If I chose to contact you”.
If she chose to contact me? Well did she or didn’t she???

Message from Truth--Finder saying Try this crazy people search site, and you might have missed this earlier.
Is it a site to search for crazy people or a site that’s crazy for searching people?

Message full of emojis, particularly corn emojis, promising to grow your penis up to seven inches (in quotes) with an African Elongation Ritual.
That is a concerning amount of corn emojis.

Twitter follower claiming to be Rick Springfield, the guy who sang Jessie’s Girl, but with a twitter account, allegedly private, with a handle full of random numbers.
Rick Springfield, a singer I’ve heard of but only marginally aware of, is allegedly following me with his “official private account”, that he just made this month. Sure, Jan.

Saturday, February 18, 2023

Middle Of Winter

Seriously, what the hell.
Panel 1, I’m walking through the living room and there are specks on the floor, I say, “What the…”, Panel 2, close up on the specks, showing they’re ants, Panel 3, I’m staring down at them, looking perplexed, Panel 4, “It’s the middle of winter, right?”

It’s even weirder that they started appearing a few days after the coldest day we’ve had in years, with sub-zero temperatures (Fahrenheit or Celsius), when all ants should be dead. I say it again: what the hell.

Thursday, February 16, 2023

Language Of Confusion: Verse, Part VII

It’s seven, right? It’s been so long I can’t remember. There are a LOT of words that come from the Proto Indo European wer-to turn or bend. The ones this week all have a bit of a theme to them.
First, wrest—and of course wrestle, which spawned from it, though back then they only meant to twist or wrench, then meaning to pull or detach in the fourteenth century and then take by force in the fifteenth. Wrest comes from the Old English wraestan, and wrestle from wraestlian, both with the same meanings we use for them. Before that, they’re from the Proto Germanic wraistjan, from wreik-, to turn, which is from wer-. Wrestling does involve a lot of bending and twisting. The word wriggle is actually surprisingly close. It has an actual time period it showed up in, the late fifteenth century, from the Middle Low German wrigglen, from the Proto Germanic wrig-. That’s from wreik-, just like wrestle.
And speaking of wrench, it comes from the Old English wrencan, to twist. The tool of course came after the verb, all the way in 1794, and hey, it makes sense, wrenches are for twisting things open and closed. The word is from the Proto Germanic wrankjan, from the Proto Indo European wrengh-/wergh, to turn, a spawn of wer-. There’s also wring, which comes from the Old English wringan, which is again from wreng/werg. Funny how different (well, kind of) they turned out.
Then there’s writhe, which comes from the Old English wriþan, same definition. It’s from the Proto Germanic writhanan, which is wreit- in PIE, from wer-. Finally, there’s wrangle, which showed up in the late fourteenth century related to wrestle, but then in 1897 started being used in American English in reference to horses. It comes from the Low German wrangeln and Middle Low German wringen, and before that the Proto Germanic wrang-, which is from wrengh-/wergh-. You know, again.
TL;DR: all the verse words related to twisting have very little variance in their origins.
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
In Depth Germanic Language Studies

Tuesday, February 14, 2023

From The Spamfiles

Happy Spamintines Day!

Shut up. It might be a thing.

Message from Fidelity Life, saying “welcome to your life insurance” without any spaces in between the letters.
Life insurance spam has always intrigued me. It’s not much different from the casino spam, really. It wants money from you, promises a payout, and will absolutely not deliver should the time come.

Message from Mrs. Martha Elena, VERY VERY URGENT, saying please forgive me for stressing you, a perfectly normally worded sentence.
I didn’t actually look at the message, but it’s safe to assume it’s a cancer widow. And it’s VERY VERY URGENT!!!

Message from Serenity, saying a sleep brain scan reveals the real root cause of tinnitus.
And the real root cause is hearing loss, obviously. Now make it go away! I’m sick of the constant beeping in my ears!

This one’s from “conf” followed by ellipses, an at symbol, more ellipses, then some not-words, saying my status pending, confirmation needed.
It’s kind of insulting when they don’t bother to make it look like a real email address. They’re not even trying!

Another Tumblr follower, this one with a picture of a pregnant woman in a bikini, standing next to another woman.
This is… one of the weirder spambot followers I’ve had lately. Is that seriously a pregnant woman????? This raises all kinds of questions as to why, and I don’t want to know any of the answers.

Saturday, February 11, 2023


My laptop wouldn’t stop bugging me, so I upgraded to Windows 11. Somehow it’s always worse than you think it’s going to be in ways you don’t expect.
Panel 1, me in front of computer, “Ugh, fine. I’ll upgrade to Windows 11. Stop bugging me.” Panel 2, “All right, that’s done. Let’s see what they screwed up this time.” Panel 3, close up of app window with rounded corner, “What the… Are those rounded corners? How positively hideous!” Panel 4, showing gap between browser and toolbar, “Okay, what the hell is with this see-through gap around the browser window?” Panel 5, close up of toolbar, which only shows icons, not words, “Where the f*** are the words on the icons so I can tell what programs I have open???” Panel 6, back to me in front of computer, Panel 7, blood leaks out of my nose, Panel 8, I notice the blood, “Great, now my doctor’s going to be on me about my blood pressure again.”
The annoying part is it actually functions well otherwise and my internet driver no longer crashes. But the rounded corners are really awful—an affront to all that is good in the world. And I have no idea why, but Chrome windows (and only Chrome windows), when maximized, have a gap all around them, which is as ugly as the rounded corners. The absolute kick to the face, though, was that it eliminates words from icons, so I have no idea what the hell I’m switching between when I have multiples of, say, Word open, which I often do. I just hate not having words so I can actually SEE what’s open, as I find there nothing more horrific than having to hover over the icon and have the stupid preview popup. I’ve been trying to get rid of that for YEARS and now they’ve made it mandatory. Or did, until I downloaded something to finally let me see the damn words telling me what I have open.

TL;DR: Functional, aesthetically displeasing, and it adds extra steps to EVERYTHING.

Thursday, February 9, 2023

Language Of Confusion: Verse, Part VI

Wow, this is still going on. There are lots more words that come from the Proto Indo European wer-to turn or bend. Things are going to get weird.
Seriously. Weird. Ever wonder where it came from? It showed up in the fifteenth century meaning having power over fate. What made it change? Macbeth. Specifically, eighteenth-nineteenth century productions of Macbeth, which had the Weird Sisters be odd looking, so by the nineteenth century, people started using weird to mean odd instead of controlling fate. The word comes from the Old English wyrd, which means fate, from the Proto Germanic wurthiz. That’s from the Proto Indo European wert-, to turn or wind, from wer-. You turn fate, I guess, and that plus Shakespeare made weird.
Next, worry showed up in the fourteenth century, but it meant to kill by biting/shaking the throat, as done by a wolf. Yeah. From there, it started to mean strangle, and by the fifteenth century, it was used metaphorically, meaning to bother something (as in, worry away at), and then, by 1822, it came to mean to feel anxiety. It comes from the Old English wyrgan, to strangle, from the Proto Germanic wurgjan, which is from the Proto Indo European wergh-, from the root wer-. A wolf biting something by the throat and shaking it back and forth turned into worry.
And to make things weirder, worth. It comes from the Old English weorþ, which is basically pronounced the same and means worth, honored, or price. It’s from the Proto Germanic wertha-, toward or opposite—like an equivalent, one thing being equal to another, showing its value. It’s actually not certain that it’s from wer-, but that’s the theory, and considering the -vert words often talked about turning towards each other, it’s not a crazy idea.
Wry showed up in the early-mid sixteenth century, where it meant distorted, not being likened to humor and wit until the late sixteenth century. It comes from the Old English wrigian, to incline or tend towards, from the Proto Germanic wrig-, and Proto Indo Eruopean wreik-, to turn, from the root wer-. So wry used to mean distort—and awry kind of still does. It actually showed up earlier, in the late fourteenth century, with the a- meaning on, so awry is distorted (or twisted, or turned) on.
Finally today, wrap. Yes, like a covering. It showed up in the early fourteenth century as a verb and late fifteenth century as a noun. It’s history isn’t totally known, but it’s thought to be Scandinavian, and the theory is it’s from the Proto Indo European werp-, turn or wind, from wer-, and it does make sense since wraps wind around something. But you know how these etymologies go. It’s just as likely not to be related at all!
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

Tuesday, February 7, 2023

February Goals

Ugh, February is here. Garfield was right. It really is the Monday of the months. It’s cold and I’m tired all the time. February SUCKS.
Anyway, goals or whatever.
January Goals
1. Finish the first part of my web serial. Looks to be on schedule so far.
Hey, I did this, though technically the epilogue didn’t go up until the first.
2. Add another 20K to my other project.
I didn’t get quite there, but I got close.
3. Update my etymology page. Ugh, it’s that time again.
UGHHHHH. All the stupid stuff they do to Blogger and they STILL won’t fix the fact that you can’t paste things in from programs like Excel, and it’s totally impossible to change the spacing on a large list of words.
Not bad. That’s what you get when you set the bar low. Now I have to decide what I’m going to do in February.
February Goals
1. Edit the web serial, as it could use a more comprehensive looking at.
2. Work on some other projects to recharge my creativity. Not sure what, though.
3. Add about 8K to my other WIP and finish the first draft.
This is my plan. What do you want to do this month?

Saturday, February 4, 2023


It was really that bad.
Panel 1, reading on computer, “This chapter is incoherent. I’m going to have to rewrite half of it!” Panel 2, “I can’t believe I allowed even first draft writing to be this bad. When did I do this?” Panel 3, looking at computer, Panel 4, “Ah, when I was sick. It all makes sense now.”
I was baffled that I produced something this incomprehensible. Nothing flowed in any logical way. Words were straight up used wrong. I’d say something in one paragraph, then say it again two paragraphs later, down to the same wording. I really was sick.

Thursday, February 2, 2023

Language Of Confusion: Verse, Part V

Now, you might be thinking all the words descended from the Proto Indo European wer-to turn or bend have been sane so far, and that’s not wrong. But that is only the beginning.
First, verge, which at least looks like verse with a G instead of an S. There’s both a noun and a verb version of the word, with the noun meaning edge or rim and the verb to tend or to incline. And those words are not related. To verge showed up in the seventeenth century from the classical Latin vergere, to turn, which is from wer-. The other verge? From the Latin virga, rod or stick, totally not related, though it seems the words have influenced each other over the centuries.
Plus there’s words that are just verge with a prefix. Converge showed up in the late seventeenth century, from the Late Latin convergere, to incline together. That’s literally what it means, too. Con- means together, and with vergere up there, it’s to turn together. Diverge, which has the opposite meaning, showed up in the mid sixteenth century comes from the Latin divergere, to diverge. The prefix here is dis-, apart, so to diverge is to turn apart.
You can see how verse relates to those words, right? Well how about vermin? It showed up in the fourteenth century from the Anglo French/Old French vermin, from the Vulgar Latin verminum, all of which mean vermin or bothersome insects. That can be traced to the classical Latin vermis, worm, and yes, worm is from there. Though interestingly enough, our word worm comes from the Old English wurm/wyrm, from the Proto Germanic wurmiz. That’s from the Proto Indo European word for worm, wrmi-, which is from ver-. So worm comes to us from our Germanic roots rather than Latin.
And there’s more! Vortex showed up in the mid seventeenth century, directly taken from the Latin vortex. That’s from a familiar word, vertere, which we went over the previous weeks, and is of course from wer-. Makes sense! A vortex turns! But what about warp? Yes, warp. As it turns out, warp initially meant to bend, twist, or distort, or as a noun, the threads running through fabric. It was astrophysics in 1947 who started using it as the word for the bending of spacetime, and then Star Trek picked up on that, and now warp is usually used to mean transport rather than distort. Anyway, it comes from the Old English weorpan, to throw or pitch, from the Proto Germanic werpanan, and that’s from wer-. Throwing kind of turns things, so now we have warp.
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
Fordham University
Orbis Latinus