Thursday, August 31, 2023

Basket Of Fluff

Peaches refuses to be outdone by some newcomer.

She still sleeps like this all the time. I don’t get it.

Basket of fluff! I don’t know where the actual cat is in there.
More pictures next week since I’m not ready to come back yet!

Tuesday, August 29, 2023

Baby Blue

I have a new friend!!!

She’s so cute. And, as a kitten, very, very pesty. I made the mistake of asking my mom what to call her, and she suggested Bluey, and… the name stuck.

Here she is beating up my socks. Peaches is not thrilled that there is a new baby in the house. She says she’s supposed to be the baby.

Thursday, August 24, 2023

Language Of Confusion: Floral, Again

As my birthday is in two days (!), I’m definitely not in the mood to do anything tough. So here’s some more flowers!
Lilac showed up in the late sixteenth century from the French and Spanish lilac. That in turn was taken from the Turkish leylak, because the plant came to Europe through Turkey. Well, that was an easy one.
Lavender is much older, having shown up in the fourteenth century from the Anglo French lavender, Old French lavender, and Medieval Latin lavendula, which means lavender. It’s thought to be from the classical Latin lividus, which means bluish or bruised, and is in fact the origin of livid, and that can be traced to the Proto Indo European leue-, to wash. Because even back then people liked washing things with lavender.
Iris also showed up in the late fourteenth century, as the flower before it meant the iris of the eye. It’s from the classical Latin iris, which means rainbow, from the Greek word with the same meaning, which was one of the gods. For the eye, it was considered to be a rainbow of colors, but I never really thought of the plant as being a rainbow. It is pretty though.
This one is fairly recent, having shown up in 1825—probably because it’s an American plant, and so no one had an English word for it before then. It’s from the Latin Petunia, which is from the French petun, an old word for a tobacco plant. Which is now the word for fart. Really. Actually, petunias are related to tobacco plants, less surprising than the fact that Latin actually took the word from French instead of the other way around!
Finally today, peony comes from the Middle English pyony, which is a mix of the Old English peonie and Old North French pione. Those are from the Late Latin peonia, from the classical Latin paeonia  and Greek paionia. That might be from the god Paieon, the physician of the gods, because peonies were used in medicine.

Tuesday, August 22, 2023

Parking Lots

Parking lots are not garbage cans!
Panel 1, captioned Things I’ve Seen In Parking Lots, Panel 2, cigarette butts captioned Cigarette Butts, off screen I say “Ew, gross.” Panel 3, empty nip bottles, captioned Empty Nip Bottles, off screen I say “There isn’t even a liquor store around here!” Panel 4, flossing picks, captioned Flossing picks, and off screen I say, “What the… This is a Kohl’s!”
Seriously, why are there always flossing picks?

Thursday, August 17, 2023

Language Of Confusion: Feeling Strapped

There are so many weird words related to this one. You’re in for a time.
First of all, strap, a band of leather, showed up in the early seventeenth century from Scottish, of all languages. It’s thought to be from the Old French estrop, strap, and before that the classical Latin stroppus, which means strap like part of a slingshot. That’s actually from the Greek strophos, rope, from the verb strephein, to turn, from the Proto Indo European strebh-, to wind or turn. So because rope is twisted/turned, we have strap.
And that little word gives us so much weirdness. You know what’s from there? Catastrophe. Seriously! It showed up in the mid sixteenth century meaning a reversal of what’s expected, not meaning a disaster until 1748. It comes from the classical Latin catastropha (a reversal or catastrophe), and Greek katastrophe, disaster or undoing. The kata means down or against, and the rest is from strephein, so a catastrophe is turning against. Somehow that makes sense.
And from the same place is of course apostrophe. It showed up in the mid sixteenth century, a bit after catastrophe, from the French apostrophe, (same meaning, obvs), from the Late Latin apostrophus and Greek apostrophos prosoidia, which means apostrophe and literally translates to “the accent of turning away”. Yeah, somehow that meant a mark to show that a letter is missing—like it is being shortened to it’s, the apostrophe shows the missing i. Apo- means off or away from, and the rest is to turn, so an apostrophe is a mark that takes a letter away.
All right, how about strobe? It didn’t show up until 1942, but it was short for stroboscope, which showed up in 1896. That’s scope with the Greek strobos, twisting or whirling, which is obviously from strebh-. A strobe is a constantly whirling light! And there’s one more we’re going to look at: streptococcus. Yes, it’s from the same place. It showed up in 1877 as the bacteria genus, with the strepto- used by scientists when they wanted to say “twisted” but wanted to use Latin so they sound academic. It’s from the Greek streptos, twisted, which is from strephein. Fun fact, the cocco- part of the word means berry or seed, which is from kokkos, agranule or seed in Greek. Streptococcus is a twisted granule. And it sucks to come down with 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
Encyclopaedia Britannica
Orbis Latinus

Tuesday, August 15, 2023

From The Spamfiles

It’s back! Finally, I have some saved up. Either my spam filter is working better or I’m so boring not even the spammers are interested in me.

Message from Accountable Tech, saying is AI ripping a page out of Big Tech’s playbook? Hi there, there’s been a lot of chatter about…
Honestly, I’m not sure if this is spam or just a warning about how AI steals the work of writers and artists.

Message from Blanca Saunders, saying LIVE, the future of Ai has arrived! Meet Vision AI (5 VIP Bonus+ Coupon)
This, this is what the previous one was warning about. It wants to automate creativity, the thing that makes people happy, so they can be forced to work a soul-crushing job until they die. Yay.

Message from Lume Deodorant Ad, saying Stop body odor before it starts, 125000 5-star reviews and counting, Smell Better Naked With the…
It’s kind of insulting that the spammers think I need this. Also, why is it specifically to smell better naked? Are people smelling worse than when they have clothes on???

Message from Harbor*FreightDepar. Saying Confirmation 53061, you have won an 170 piece stanley tool set!!! Except all the words are run together
I have won so many toolsets these past few weeks. I don’t know how I got so lucky.

Two spam comments from Rajani Rehana, one saying Great blog, the other saying Please read my post.
Rajani’s back! And they’re totally a real person and not a spambot!

Thursday, August 10, 2023

Language Of Confusion: Stalled, Part II

The second and final part of words descended from the Proto Indo European root stel-, to stand or to put in order. It gave us still and stall, and a bunch of other words you wouldn’t think.
First we’re going to look at stole. But not like the past tense of steal, which is totally unrelated. No, like a stole you wear around your neck. It comes from the Old English stole, and before that the classical Latin stola, a robe or vestment. That’s from the Greek stole, which means like a uniform or costume, from the verb stellein, to place, which makes more sense than a garment a priest wears around their neck (the kind of stole women wore wasn’t named until 1889).
Next is stolid, which I don’t find surprising. It didn’t show up until the seventeenth century, though stolidity, which I’ve never heard anyone use, showed up in the mid sixteenth century. It comes from the French stolide (same meaning), from the classical Latin stolidus, which means… stupid. That’s from stultus, stupid or foolish, from the Proto Indo European stol-ido-, which is from stel-. Apparently a standing object or place was stupid? And that gave us stolid.
Not weird enough? How about apostle? It comes from the Old English apostol, apostle or messenger, from the Late Latin apostolus, Greek apostolos, messenger. The apo- means off or away from (we talked about that only a few weeks ago!), and the rest is stellein, which means to send in this sense. An apostle is someone sent away (with a message). Epistle of course has a very similar origin. It was epistol in Old English, from the Old French epistle/epistre, from the classical Latin epistola, aletter. That’s from the Greek epistole, letter or message, with the prefix here epi-, meaning to. Epistle means to send a message to.
Then there’s also pedestal. It showed up in the mid sixteenth century from the French piĆ©destal and Italian piedistallo. The pie means foot, the di means of, and the rest is from the Old Italian stallo, stall or place. That’s actually probably Germanic in origin, and definitely from stel-. A pedestal is where you place 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
Tony Jebson’s page on the Origins of Old English
Old English-English Dictionary
Orbis Latinus

Tuesday, August 8, 2023

Forgot To Mention

This actually happened just two weeks ago when me and my mom were talking to her sister.
Panel 1, I’m talking with my mom and my aunt, and my aunt says, “You excited about the wedding?” And my mom says, “You mean our cousin’s? Not really. It seems kind of ridiculous at our age.” Panel 2, my aunt says, “Ha, no, I meant my son’s. On the eleventh.” Panel 3, I say, “The eleventh?” and my mom says, “What eleventh? August eleventh?” My aunt says, “Sure! Like my husband told you!” Panel 4, blank, horrified stares, Panel 5, my aunt stops smiling, Panel 6, my aunt says, “Well, he was supposed to.”
My aunt is a scatterbrain, so of course her much more reliable husband is going to inform everyone about the wedding, by phone since it’s not a formal affair. Unless he’s so busy helping to plan it that he, I don’t know, forgets.

Thursday, August 3, 2023

Language Of Confusion: Stalled, Part I

There’s a weird number of words related to this one that you wouldn’t think. All are descended from the Proto Indo European root stel-, to stand or to put in order, two meanings you wouldn’t think actually go together but it does kind of make sense.
Stall is one of those words with a lot of different definitions, like a physical stall where you sell goods, or stalling someone, an engine getting stalled, and somehow they are all from the same word. The first one to show up was a stall like you would put animals, sometime before something stalling out, which showed up in the mid fifteenth century. It comes from the Middle English stalle, from the Old English steall, a standing place to catch fish. That’s from the Proto Germanic stalli-, which is thought to be from stel-, so a standing place to catch fish became a stall, and that changed into all those other definitions.
Plus there are other words related to stall. Did you know stallion is from stall? It showed up in the mid fifteenth century, though it also showed up earlier as staloun, coming from: the Anglo French estaloun, Old French estalon, Frankish stal, Old High German stal (which means stable), and Proto Germanic stol-. And that’s from stel-. Funny how stallions go in stalls, but the words have diverging etymologies. As for install, which you would think would be related, there’s no real evidence of it. Install is Latin in origin, and while Latin might have taken it from a Germanic language, there’s no clear word it came from, including stall’s origin words. I mean, it makes sense and it probably is related, but maybe not???
Back to words that are definitely from stel-. Still comes from the Old English stille, which just means still, so no big WTF leaps. That’s from the Proto Germanic stilli-, from the PIE stel-ni-, which is a form of stel-. Straight to the point there.
Then there’s stale. Makes sense, stale things stand for too long. It showed up in the fourteenth century meaning… alcohol that stood long enough that it’s now free from dregs. It didn’t mean something old until the mid sixteenth century! And of course it was Shakespeare who started it to mean something that’s gone stale by being laid out for too long. Stale actually comes from the Old French estale, settled or clear, from estal, a fixed position, form the Frankish stal-, Proto Germanic stol-, and so from stel-. If it wasn’t for Shakespeare immortalizing the slang of the time, stale would only have to do with alcohol clearing up! How does this word make less sense now?
Finally today, stalk. Like the stalk of a plant, not stalking after someone (that’s thought to be related to steal). A plant stalk showed up in the early fourteenth century, and that’s thought to be from the Middle English stale (I don’t think that’s even related to stale!), and before that the Old English stalu, the wooden part of a tool. It’s from the Proto Germanic stalla-, which is from the PIE stol-no-, from stel-. I really can’t see that one, but somehow it’s supposed to be true.
Online Etymology Dictionary
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
Fordham University

Tuesday, August 1, 2023

August Goals

On one hand, how is it already August? On the other, birthday month!!!!! What did I do last month?
July Goals
1. Reduce my blogging schedule. I know, it’s a shock. I’ve been at three times a week for over a decade now! Unfortunately, I don’t have as much energy as I used to.
Well, this was an easy one. Doing less work is not a problem for me.
2. Update my etymology page. You know what fun this always is.
Ugh, it’s done. Stupid Google screwing up Blogger.
3. Get to 90K on my WIP. I probably won’t get this far, but I’m hoping for a miraculous burst of inspiration.
So close! And since I’m writing this in advance, I may have actually reached it! Yay!
Not bad, in all, but they were some easy goals.
August Goals
1. Actually keep track of my goals this month. I let it slack when I stopped using sticky notes, but now that the evil rounded corners are gone, I can use them again.
2. Finish Book 2. It’s got, like, three more chapters, so this should be easy.
3. BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I’m going to get cake! The cake I really love from the good bakery! AHHHHHHHH!
I’m very excited.
What are you going to do this month?