Thursday, September 28, 2023

Language Of Confusion: Ak-!, Part III

The third part in our look at words descended from the Proto Indo European root ak-, meaning to be sharp, rise to a point, or pierce. Things are going to get weird.
First today we’ll look at vinegar, which makes sense since so many other biting smells have come from ak-. Vinegar showed up in the early fourteenth century from the Old French vinaigre, from vin, which means wine, and aigre, sour. Now aigre is actually the origin of another word, and I’m betting you won’t guess this one: eager. It showed up in English in the late thirteenth century, though back then it only meant ardent, fierce, or angry, before for some reason morphing to mean keen desire. Eager is from aigre, and before that it was acrus in Vulgar Latin, and that’s from a word we’ve discussed in previous weeks, the classical Latin acer, sharp. Eagerness is a sharp desire. Also it makes vinegar sharp wine.
Okay, I can almost see that. Then there’s the word edge. It comes from the Old English ecg, the edge of a tool or weapon. That comes to us from the Proto Germanic agjo, which is from ak-. Makes sense, edges are sharp points. But where things get weird is it’s where egg comes from, but not an egg like a bird would lay. No, this is only the verb egg, like to egg someone on. That word, meaning to incite or urge, showed up in the thirteenth century from the Old Norse eggja, which also came from agjo. This means that to egg (someone on) is not at all related to egg (that is laid). Because words. Are. Stupid.
Let’s see if we can top that one. The next word on our list is ear, but much like egg, it’s not the obvious one you’re thinking of. This isn’t the thing on the side of your head, this is an ear of corn and only an ear of corn. It comes from the Old English ear, while the word for hearing ear is actually eare. That’s from the Proto Germanic akhuz, which is from ak-. See, an ear of corn was thought of as a “spike” of corn, so that’s how that was named that way. And the ear on your head being spelled the same is just a coincidence.
I’m rolling my eyes so hard right now.
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
Encyclopaedia Britannica

Tuesday, September 26, 2023

From The Spamfiles

Thankfully I have received lots of new spam to share.

Message from Fidelity, saying two hundred and fifty thousand dollar term life insurance, followed by a string of letters and numbers
No way I am taking out that much life insurance. The last thing I need is more people rooting for me to die.

This one is from Fidelity underscore Life, two exclamation points, and for some reason the T is capitalized, and it also says the two hundred fifty thousand dollar life insurance, though in the message itself it says five hundred K
Another one, though this one isn’t nearly as believable. The random capitalized T is disquieting enough, but the double exclamation point is quite concerning. These people are definitely rooting for me to die.

Message from Videos dot com, saying confirmation registration, to validate your account, videos send me
Videos dot com has to be the most generic name for a site ever. The domain is taken of course, and the site does seem to have videos, I’ve just never heard of it before.

Message from Mr. Douglas Costa, saying Attention Beneficiary, this is to inform you that the higher authorities that is in charge of international…
The higher authorities! Of course! I know them.

Text message I received at three fifty seven in the morning from chkcaccnts.zmembershipsensitivy.-explatfoiv… saying my Venmo Account has been locked and to click this totally legitimate link to avoid permanent suspension.
A text I received recently. I like how the name of the sender is spelled so badly. It seems to say “membership sensitivity” with sensitivity spelled wrong, and a weird choice of wording anyway. And of course the best part is I don’t have a Venmo account.

Thursday, September 21, 2023

Language Of Confusion: Ak-!, Part II

This week, more from the Proto Indo European root word ak-, meaning to be sharp, rise to a point, or pierce. Everything here has a lot of points!
The first word we’re looking at is acme, like the highest point of something. It showed up in the mid sixteenth century from the Greek akme, and of course the ak is from ak-, because high things often rise to a point. Amusingly enough, in English, people continued to write it in Greek letters until the seventeenth century. For some reason. And you know what very similarly spelled word is from the same place? Acne. It didn’t show up until 1813, from the Latin acne, from the Greek akmas, which is also from akme. I guess acne is “points” on someone’s face.
Next in sharpness is acuity. It showed up in the early fifteenth century, a little before acumen. It’s from the Old French acuite and Medieval Latin acuitatem, from the classical Latin verb acuere, to sharpen, which is also where acumen comes from. If your perception is sharp, you have acuity.
Now for a word that will make you go “Oh, yeah, that makes sense.” Acupuncture first showed up in the late seventeenth century meaning a surgical operation to ease pain. The acu- comes from the classical Latin acus, needle, because it and acupressure (which showed up in 1859) were what they called a method of pinning or wiring an artery shut, presumably with a nice, sharp needle. For some reason, in 1958, people started using those terms to mean the body-needle pressure method imported from Asia.
Finally today, we’re actually going to look at a prefix, acro-, which is the start of words like acronym, acropolis, and acrylic. It comes from the Greek akro-, pertaining to an end or extreme, from akros, which means extremely in both a literal or figurative sense and is from ak-. An acropolis is an elevated part of a city, an acronym takes the first letter of each word, and acrylic… well, it was named for the substance in garlic and onions that makes people tear up (i.e. is sharp). Acro- means high, first, extreme.
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

Tuesday, September 19, 2023

The Humidity!

It’s only just finally gone away.
Panel 1, I’m putting on my glasses, Panel 2, I head out the door, Panel 3, my glasses immediately fog over, Panel 4, I say, “It’s way too humid out.”
If it fogs up my glasses, it’s too fricking humid!

Thursday, September 14, 2023

Language Of Confusion: Ak-!, Part I

What is ak-? Besides the noise you make when something is stuck in your throat? It’s a Proto Indo European root meaning to be sharp, rise to a point, or pierce. And the words descended from it are varied and bizarre. As usual.
This is actually the origin word for acid. It showed up in the early seventeenth century and meant vinegar-tasting, while an acid, like in chemistry, didn’t show up until the late seventeenth century, and its definition was refined over the next century as more about chemistry was refined. It’s from either the French acide or classical Latin acidus, which means acid, sour, or sharp. And yeah, that figurative sense of a biting smell is why it’s from the PIE word for sharp.
Speaking of biting, there’s also acerbic, another word I enjoy using. It didn’t show up until 1865, so remember that for your Civil War fics—though acerbity is as old as the late sixteenth century, and once upon a time there was also just acerb. Acerbity is from the French acerbité, from the classical Latin acerbus, bitter. That’s from the Proto Italic akro-po-, with the ak- being from ak- (obviously).
Next is acrid, which makes sense being so similar to acid. It showed up in 1712, coming from the classical Latin acer, sharp, and you know that’s related to acerbic. It’s from the Proto Indo European akri-, which of course is from ak-. And there’s acetic, which makes sense considering vinegar has acetic acid in it. It showed up in 1808 from the French acétique, which means… acetic. Anyway, the word comes from the classical Latin acetum, vinegar, from the verb acere, to be bitter, from ak-.
Finally today, something slightly different, acrimony. It showed up in the mid sixteenth century meaning sharp or pungent in taste, then morphing to mean figurative bitterness in the early seventeenth century. It’s from the French acrimonie and classical Latin acrimonia, which both mean acrimony, from acer, and thus sharp. So because some things taste sharply, we now say people in a spat are acrimonious.
Online Etymology Dictionary
Google Translate
University of Texas at San Antonio’s page on Proto Indo European language

Tuesday, September 12, 2023

September Goals

Another goals post, and only a week late. What do I want to do this month? Well, first let’s look at what I was supposed to do last month.
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.
Yes, I started keeping track of things. Eventually. Not that there was much to keep track of.
2. Finish Book 2. It’s got, like, three more chapters, so this should be easy.
I was able to do this! Book 2 is “complete”. Which is to say done without being totally edited.
3. BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Could have used more birthday.
Another success. That’s the secret: aim low. Aim so low no one will notice if you fail.
September Goals
1. Continue editing the book and promoting the web serial. I am so bad at this.
2. Work on something pointless that lets me recharge creatively.
3. Figure out what I want to work on next.
Still trying to find something that I want to work on. I need an idea that pulls at me. How do you decide what to work on? What do you want to do this September?

Thursday, September 7, 2023

It’s A Butt

I just want to show you the best apple I’ve ever seen.

I laughed way too long at this one.

See? They’re getting along. Kind of. When Bluey isn’t leaping down on Peaches, at least.

Tuesday, September 5, 2023

Bun Sighting!

Saw another bunny outside. Personally, I prefer them to the groundhogs. The bunnies don’t eat my apples.

I have no idea what that is next to the bunny, since if I got any closer, it would have run away. But I was on a school field, so I assume some sort of ball.

No idea what this thing is. I’ve never seen anything like it. It pulled over across the road for a few minutes, then drove off. Weirdly, I saw it drive by the next day, too.