Thursday, June 29, 2023

Language Of Confusion: Vacation, Part III

Last part of words from the Proto Indo European eue-, to leave, abandon, or give out, which gave us vacation, vacate, and somehow want.
This week, we’ll start by looking at void. It showed up in the fourteenth century meaning vacant before also meaning to legally void in the mid fifteenth century. It comes from the Anglo French/Old French voide/viude, and before that the classical Latin vocivos, vacant, which is from vacare, the origin word of vacate and a bunch of these other words.
Plus there’s also devoid, which weirdly kind of means the same thing as void. It showed up in the fifteenth century, though the word devoided actually existed before that and had the same meaning. It comes from the Middle English devoiden, from the Old French desvidier, with the des- from dis- and meaning away, and the rest from voide. Devoid is to empty away.
Avoid showed up in the late fourteenth century as what we know it as, though before that in Middle English it used to mean to empty out. That’s from the Anglo French avoider, from the Old French esvuidier, with the es- actually from ex-, meaning out, and the rest is also from voide. So it means to empty out, and we just changed it to mean staying away from something.
Next there’s devastate, though that actually came in the mid sixteenth century while devastation showed up a whole century earlier. It comes from the Medieval Latin devastationem, from the classical Latin verb devastare, which is just to devastate. The de- means completely here, while vastare means to waste, so devastate is to completely waste! And vastare is from the Proto Indo European wasto-, of course from eue-. How sensible! And speaking of waste, it’s pretty old, having shown up in the thirteenth century from the Anglo French/Old North French waster, which just so happens to also be from vastare. Waste and devastate are one and the same.
The final word we’re going to look at from eue- is… vaunt. Yes, vaunt, like boasting about something, because boasting is kind of, well, vain. It showed up in the early fifteenth century from the Anglo French vaunter, Old French vanter, Medieval Latin vanitare, and finally the classical Latin vanare, which means something like to say in vain. That happens to be from vanus, the origin word for vain, from the PIE wano­-, which is from eue-. Because vaunting is vain.
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
Dictionary of Medieval Latin
Fordham University

Tuesday, June 27, 2023

From The Spamfiles

Last one of the month!

Message from Olivia Rodriguez, saying I was wondering if you could recommend someone?
No. I’ve never recommended anyone ever.

Message from Huge Manhood, saying German Sex Industry Penis Ritual Leaked, German Adult Film Star Extension Secret
Sigh. Well, I suppose it’s better than the racist African ones.

Message from Car Shield, saying Welcome to your Car Shield! Hi
With CarShield, your car can take one hit before it gets destroyed! But then you have to let it recharge before you can use it again.

Message from Dyson V11, saying We have been trying to reach you in order to deliver your reward
Somewhere out there, someone keeps sending out messages to people about rewards they’ve received and wondering why no one ever responds.

A new Twitter follower, Phoebe Gream (or at GreamPhoeb93770) who just joined a few months ago, has no followers, and is just a woman lounging in a dress
Really, the only new followers I’ve gotten on twitter in months are random women with lots of numbers in their handles. Twitter is now like ninety percent bots.

Saturday, June 24, 2023


I definitely spoke too soon.
Panel 1, I’m at the computer and I say, “‘Windows is updating and will restart’, huh? Well, I guess it can’t make it worse.” Panel 2, I’m waiting, arms crossed, Panel 3, I say, “Finally! About time it loaded!” Panel 4, I’m looking annoyed, Panel 5, “Uh… What the hell. The toolbar won’t load and the screen keeps blinking.” Panel 6, now I’m mad, “Wow. Kudos, Microsoft. You really did make it worse.”
Yeah, Windows 11 is a great OS. The updates break my computer so much I have to start it in troubleshoot mode and roll them back.

Thursday, June 22, 2023

Language Of Confusion: Vacation, Part II

More on words that are related to vacate, all descended from the Proto Indo European eue-, to leave, abandon, or give out. And somehow that gave us vacation.
First today, vanish, which you can at least see as being related to vacate. It showed up in the fourteenth century as a short version of the word esvaniss-, which is from the Old French esvanir, same meaning as vanish. It’s from the Vulgar Latin exvanire, from the classical Latin evanescere, to disappear. The e- comes from ex- and means out and the vanescere means to vanish, from vanus, which means empty or, well, vain. Anyway, that word is from the Proto Indo European wano-, another form of eue-. To vanish is to vanish out. But we lost the e- in front.
So yeah, vain. It also showed up in the fourteenth century from the Old French vain/vein, which is just from vanus. Then there’s vanity, an older word having shown up in the thirteenth century. It’s from the Old French vanite, from the classical Latin vanitatem, vanity or emptiness, and again, that’s from vanus. Because vain people are metaphorically empty, we have those words.
How about some words beginning with W? Wane comes from the Old English wanian, to diminish. It’s from the Proto Germanic wanonan, which is from wano, the same as vanish. Basically, this word is the same as vanish except it came to us through Germanic origins instead of Latin.
Also related is want of all words. It showed up in the thirteenth century from the Old Norse vanta, from the Proto Germanic wanen. That’s from the PIE weno-, which is from eue-, so a slightly different version of the word. Why is want from a word meaning to leave/abandon? Because when you want something, you’re lacking it—you’re empty of it, if you get my meaning.
Now if you go in another direction for meaning: wanton. It showed up in the early fourteenth century as wan-towen. The wan- was a Middle English word element meaning wanting or lacking, and kind of used the same as un-, and it happens also to be from wano-. The second half of the word is actually from the Proto Germanic teuhan, the origin for tug of all things, so wanton means “un-tugged along”, which… somehow gives us wanton.

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, June 20, 2023

From The Spamfiles

Yes, this again.

Message from Milani, saying I wish TO you a merry Christmas, spend with me this night, Hey, naked pictures
What month do you think this is?

Message from Gold Allied Trust dot com, saying Don’t risk your retirement savings, act today, Uncertain times stress you out?
Yes, actually, uncertain times are stressing me out, I don’t know how to make it stop.

Message from FB, saying someone tried to log into your account, Hi Ibrahimerouk
Okay, not only can I say for sure I don’t have a Facebook account (or FB account, eyeroll), I am one hundred percent certain my name’s not Ibrahimerouk.

Message from Norah, saying your date is here, let’s have some fun this night, filled with many upsetting emojis
Whatever her idea of fun is, I want no part of it.

 Six comments from Rajani Rehana, saying either Beautiful blog or Please read my post
Rajani, you’re coming off a little desperate here. You could have at least put it up on different blog posts and not in the same two minute window.

Saturday, June 17, 2023

Just Figuring It Out

It’s 6-66.
Panel 1, my mom, reading a book on her phone, going, “Huh.” Panel 2, she’s making a call, Panel 3, I’m on the phone with her and she says, “Did you know that in Rosemary’s Baby, she was due to give birth in June of ’66?” Panel 4, back to her, and I say, “Yes, I knew that, everyone knows that.” And she replies, “Huh!”
Honestly, I can’t be surprised since I can be the same way, but she’s been reading this book since before I was born.

Thursday, June 15, 2023

Language Of Confusion: Vacation, Part I

Gee, I wonder why this is on my mind.
Vacate showed up in the mid seventeenth century, from the classical Latin vacatus and its verb form vacare, to be empty or at leisure. Vacation actually showed up much earlier, in the late fourteenth century, from the Old French vacacion and before that, the classical Latin vacationem, another form of vacare. Vacare is from the Proto Indo European wak-, which from the root eue-, to leave, abandon, or give out. And a lot of words with vac- in them are somehow from those three vowels.
Vacant showed up in the fourteenth century (vacancy later, in the late sixteenth century). It comes from the Old French vacant, from the classical Latin vacantem, vacant, yet another form of vacare. Then there’s evacuate, which showed up in the early sixteenth century (evacuation showed up earlier, in the fifteenth century, but referred to discharge from the body… ew!). It’s from the classical Latin evacuatus, to make empty, a mix of the prefix ex-, out, and vacuus, empty. To empty out. What a sensible etymology!
And of course vacuus gave us vacuum. It showed up in the mid sixteenth century, but only referred to the emptiness of space since vacuums weren’t invented yet (not until 1903!). Vacuum is actually a straight Latin word meaning empty, and is the noun form of vacuus. Vacuous is from the same word, having shown up in the mid seventeenth century, though back then it was literal, not meaning empty of ideas/intelligence until 1848.
How straightforward this has all been. I’m sure it will be convoluted again 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, June 13, 2023

From The Spamfiles

More spam!

Message from Maio G 0 M dot gmail at gmail, saying nine message incoming document, gmail sharepoint team, gmail shared an necessary file
Nine message incoming document! An necessary file!!!

Message from Brazzers, saying two day access for only one dollar, you have ninety nine new fuck before it gets cut off
I have no idea what Brazzers is supposed to be, but the “99 new f*ck” is a big hint.
 Message from Valerye Bollinger, for Greg Smith, saying their agent ID number
Yes, I still get Greg messages from time to time. I don’t know why an “agent” is trying to get in touch with him, but I have to assume it’s some sort of scam. I mean, that name can’t be real.
Message from Ms. Stella Komivi, saying Sincerely, and she is twenty years old, single, only daughter and Daughter
Second to the cancer widows is the young woman whose been orphaned and needs someone to marry her and help her get her money. Because that’s how things work.

Message that says Greetings and GOD BLESS You, Peace be unto you, I believe that you can help in setting up a charity foundation for the benefit of mankind, I wish to establish a charity foundation to help the poor, widows, orphans and less privileged people in your country under your care, Can you help to build this project in your country? I’m willing to donate the sum of $8.3M. (Eight Million Three Hundred Thousand U.S. Dollars) with a Bank. All I want form you is sincerity to handle this project. to give them hope and support and to make them feel the same like others. Together We can make the world a better place we help one another. I need a very honest and God fearing Person that can use this funds for The Lord work and Your will utilize 70% of this money to fund churches, orphanages and widows around the world and 30% out of the total funds will be for your compensation for doing this work of The Lord. I found your email address from the internet and decide to contact you. Please if you would be able to use these funds for the Lord’s work kindly reply me Thank you and May The Lord bless you. I will stop here until i hear from you Always pray for my health. May God bless you In Jesus name Amen!!! Mrs. Kristina O’Connor
Frankly, it’s unrealistic to believe that someone with over eight million dollars would ever give any of it away.

Thursday, June 8, 2023

Language Of Confusion: Going In Circles, Part IV

The final part in our series looking at the Proto Indo European sker-, to turn or bend, which is what gave us circle, ring… and this week’s words, which are a lot weirder.
The first word we’re looking at this week is—really—range. It showed up in the thirteenth century as renge/rengen, and it meant what we know it as a verb, but meant as a noun meant a row or line of people. The noun started to mean a line or row in general by the fourteenth century, then scope by the late fifteenth century and an area animals seek food in the seventeenth century, and finally row of mountains in the early eighteenth century. Both come from Old French, the noun reng/renge and the verb ranger/rangier, which again meant to put in a row or line. That’s from the Frankish hring, which we went over a few weeks ago as being the origin word for ring, and of course from sker-. No idea how it got from a ring to a line. Those things are kind of opposites.
Then there’s arrange—yes, from the same place! Arrange showed up in the late fourteenth century spelled arengen (so, just like range with an a- on the front, how familiar). It actually first meant to draw up a line in battle and wasn’t used much until the late seventeenth century when it started to mean to put in order. It’s from the Old French arengier, to put in battle order or to put in a row, with the a- coming from the prefix ad- and meaning to, so to arrange is to put in a row.
And we also have derange, which isn’t used much now except as the adjective deranged. Derange showed up in 1776 meaning to put into confusion or disturb the order of, while deranged didn’t show up until 1790. The words are from the French déranger, to bother, from the Old French desrengier, disarrange. The des- is from dis- and means do the opposite of, so to derange is the opposite of arrange.
Okay, you can kind of see how the range words work with sker-, if barely. But search? It showed up in the fourteenth century as serchen, and back then it meant to go through and examine carefully, though the noun version did exist and meant a search for something, and by the fifteenth century that was pretty much what search referred to. It comes from the Old French cerchier, which is from the classical Latin circare, to go around. “Boy, that looks like circle,” you might be saying. Well, yeah, it’s the word we looked at a few weeks ago as being the origin of circle. I really don’t get how we get search from there, but we do, and also research, which showed up in the late sixteenth century. That’s from the Old French recercher, which is just cerchier with the re- prefix added for emphasis. To search is to go around in a circle. To research is to really go around in a circle.
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, June 6, 2023

June Goals

Crud, how is it June already? There’s no way I got anything done. May was over too fast.
May Goals
1. Plan out the second part of the web serial.
Already started working on it. I’m over 30K already.
2. Keep working on marketing—why does this have to be so hard?
Didn’t really do this. I have no idea how it works.
3. Try to recharge in some way so the stress doesn’t cause me to spontaneously combust.
I’m feeling slightly less stressed, I guess.
So that’s all. Not particularly successful. I’m not even sure what I should try for this month…
June Goals
1. Get to 60K on the sequel WIP.
2. Rearrange my whole writing schedule in a way that hopefully works since I have a bunch more stuff on my plate.
3. Keep trying on the marketing stuff, even if I have no idea how.
It’s a reasonable plan, I think. What do you want to do this month? It’s finally getting nice here, what’s the weather like where you are?

Saturday, June 3, 2023


I really hope there’s not a nest in the attic.
Panel 1, I see a bee flying around the house and I say, “Great, a bee got inside.” Panel 2, I scoop it into some tupperware, saying, “Come on, Mr. Bee. Let’s get you outside to pollinate some flowers.” Panel 3, I release the bee outside. Panel 4, I’m back inside and there are three more bees flying around
I haven’t seen one in a few days, so fingers crossed they don’t come back. The last thing I need is bees!

Thursday, June 1, 2023

Language Of Confusion: Going In Circles, Part III

Back to looking at words related to circle, which are descended from the Proto Indo European sker-, to turn or bend. These words… well it’s starting to get less obvious.
Curve makes sense at least. It showed up in the early fifteenth century as a verb, not becoming a noun until the late seventeenth century. It comes from the classical Latin curvus, curved, from the verb curvare, to bend, which is from sker-. Which makes sense, I guess they just dropped the S.
Then there’s crepe—both the food that’s a thin pancake and like wrinkled paper/fabric. The fabric showed up first, in 1797, while the food showed up a full eighty years later, and was based off the fabric in the sense that the pancake was small and curled. The word comes from the French crêpe, same meanings, from the Old French crespe, a ruffle or frill. That’s from the classical Latin crispa, curly, which is from sker-.
And you might be thinking that crispa looks like crisp, and there’s a reason for that. Crisp is from the Old English crisp, where it meant curly, crimped, or wavy, and it’s from the classical Latin crispus,  which is another version of crispa. No one really knows why, but sometime in the sixteenth century, crisp started to mean brittle (possibly in relation to things being cooked and becoming brittle), and then in 1814, it started to mean neat and fresh in appearance, then chilly air by 1859. In about 1826, it referred to things that were overdone in cooking—burned to a crisp—and when potato chips were invented, British English started to refer to them as potato crisps by 1897. So that’s the crazy, convoluted origin of crisp.
Crest showed up in the early fourteenth century as a noun meaning the highest part of a helmet, and then as a verb later in the century that referred to providing with a crest. It was around that time period it also came to mean the highest part of a hill or mountain and the tuft of an animal, and it didn’t start to mean the crest of a hill (or wave) until the nineteenth century. The word comes from the Old French creste, which referred to the crest on an animal, from the classical Latin crista, a crest or plume, which is believed to be from crispus, and thus sker-. Weird, huh? More or less convoluted than crisp?
Finally today, I want to touch on flounce. Not flounce like a person would do—that’s completely unrelated. No, I mean the flounce of a dress. A flounce is a ruffle—a crisp!—and it showed up in 1713 from the Middle English frounce. That’s from the Old French fronce, Frankish hrunkjan, and Proto Germanic hrunk, which is from sker-. So we got rid of the S, put on an H, got rid of that, put on an F, and changed the R to an L, and that’s how we have the name for a ruffle for a dress.
Try not to think about it too much.
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
Encyclopaedia Britannica