Tuesday, October 31, 2023

From The Spamfiles

Happy Halloween! We’re celebrating with spam. Because it’s sooooo spooooooky!
 Message from Pittsburgh saying Confirmation, your name came up, customer survey
Apparently I’ve been invited to review the city of Pittsburgh, a place I’ve never been to, as I am one of their customers!

Message from Ashfaq Ahmad, saying content for approval, I hope this message finds you well, I am reaching out to express my interest…
I don’t know what content they have, but I assume it’s some sort of scam, and possibly a virus as well.

Message from Blanca Saunders, saying Go Get It Now, $250-$500 per Days, congratulations, this is yours now
Two hundred fifty to five hundred per days! That sounds totally like something a real actual person would say!

Message from Blanca Saunders again, saying Attention Tom Cruise Fans, $250-$500 per days, dear, this is your chance to enjoy…
I don’t know how I got on Blanca’s mailing list, but I wish she’d leave me alone. Also I can’t stand Tom Cruise.

 My latest follower on Tumblr, Amber, who has a bunch of suggestive photos and videos in her profile, none of whom are the same woman
Bots come in bursts on Tumblr. It’s quiet now, but a few weeks ago, I was getting a lot, most of which are empty. Amber here is a rarity because she actually filled her blog with these pictures, all of which seem to be from different people who I swear don’t look like real people.

Thursday, October 26, 2023

Language Of Confusion: Damaged

Now for various names for injuries. Because that’s fun!
Damage showed up in the fourteenth century as both a verb and a noun, coming from the Old French damage/domage, from dam, which is from the classical Latin damnum, damage. And… that’s the origin for damn. Seriously. Damn showed up in the late thirteenth century as a legal term, to declare guilty, not being a mild curse until the early seventeenth century.
This one showed up in the early fifteenth century from the classical Latin laceratus, torn, from the verb lacerare, to tear. That’s just from the Proto Indo European lek-, to rend, so no big surprises here.
Lesion showed up in the fifteenth century from the Old French lesion, and before that the classical Latin laesionem, injury. While that’s from the verb laedere, to hurt, it’s another one where further origins are unknown.
Wound comes from the Old English wund, which means, you know, wound. It’s from the Proto Germanic wuntho, and before that is uncertain, but it would make sense if it was from the Proto Indo European wen-, to beat or wound. But at this point you should realize how stupid etymology is, so maybe not.
Mutilate showed up in the sixteenth century, but back then it meant disfigure writing or books (by cutting something out), not referring to people until a few decades later. It comes from the classical Latin mutilatus, mutilated, from the verb mutilare. Mutilation actually first showed up in Scottish law, but is from the same place. But you want to know the real WTF thing? Mozzarella is from the Italian verb mozzare, to cut off (as in a slice/cut off part of cheese). And mozzare is from mutilus. Mutilate and mozzarella… are related.
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

Thursday, October 19, 2023

Language Of Confusion: Not Buried

Now, as I said last week, bury is from the Proto Indo European root bhergh-, to hide or protect. But there’s also another bhergh, this one meaning high and having a bunch of completely different words descended from it.
The first is barrow, but not like a wheel barrow which has a totally separate origin. This one means a mound, a hill, or a grave mound, and yet, I want to emphasize, it is not at all related to the hide/protect bhergh-, or burrow or borrow. While I don’t think this is the stupidest etymology I’ve seen this year, it is definitely up there. That barrow comes from the Old English beorg, a mountain, hill, or barrow from the Proto Germanic bergaz, which is from the high bhergh-, possibly because hills are high and etymology is dumb.
What is related to this is burg, as in a town or a city, which showed up in 1843 in American English from borough. Borough comes from the Old English burg/burh which means a city or town. It’s from the Proto Germanic burgs, which is from bhergh-, with the thought that burgs were originally hill forts and fortified elevations before they became town names. You’d think it would be from the protect burg, but no. It’s also amusing that bourgeoisie is also from burg. It showed up in 1707 meaning the people of a French town (i.e. the French middle class), with the French bourgeois from the Old French burgeis/borjois, from borc, a town or village, from the Frankish burg, from bhergh-.
More on the WTF side of things is burglar. It showed up in the mid sixteenth century from the Anglo Latin burglator/burgator. It’s from the Medieval Latin burgator, from burgare, to break open or commit burglary. It’s from the classical Latin burgus, which means a borough, fortress, or castle. I guess because that’s where burglars break into?
Then there’s iceberg. It showed up in 1774 meaning a glacier shaped like a hill, so you probably see where this is going. It’s related to the Dutch ijsberg, where ijs is ice and berg means mountain. And is also from bhergh-. Well, this one makes sense at least. Mostly.
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

Tuesday, October 17, 2023

From The Spamfiles

It’s that time again!

Spam message from Pittsburgh Mechanic Tool Set Confir dot mation, followed by a thirty nine character long email address.
For some reason, this one did not get caught by the spam filter in spite of the email address, which is thirty nine random characters long. Because that’s a totally normal address to have.

Message from Harbor Freight, or rather Har dot bor fre dot ight, asking for my order confirm dot ation
Yes, periods in between words for toolsets I didn’t order is totally normal.
Message from Lume Deodorant Ad, saying When Your Butt Doesn’t Smell Like Butt, one hundred twenty five thousand five star reviews and counting
When your butt doesn’t smell like butt is time to worry.

Spam from PornHub, saying Confirmation Of Your E-Mail Address, to validate your account
You can tell it’s spam because it calls it “e dash mail” instead of email like a normal person.

Text message I received from evzqyvjl at Hotmail, saying my USPS package has arrived at the warehouse and cannot be delivered due to incomplete address information. It gives me a link to “confirm my address” and tells me to copy it into my browser
Yes, the USPS absolutely sends a text from a Hotmail account full of random letters.

Thursday, October 12, 2023

Language Of Confusion: Burying

Today I think is a good day for looking at the word bury and all the words that are related to it, which have nothing to do with burial. Why would they? This is etymology.
Bury comes from the Old English byrgan, to bury or inter in a grave. It’s from the Proto Germanic burzjan-, protection or shelter, from the Proto Indo European root bhergh-, to hide or protect. Because you’re hiding someone with dirt I guess.
So while that one took on a bit of a morbid meaning, most of the other words descended from it didn’t. Harbor, for example. It showed up in the early twelfth century meaning a lodging for ships, from the Old English herebeorg, which meant military lodgings. Here literally meant army or host, while beorg translates to a mountain, hill, or barrow. Yeah, I’m guessing that’s figurative. The phrase is actually from the Proto Germanic harja-bergaz, lodgings, and the second half of the word comes from burzjan-, which means it’s from bhergh-. A mound of dirt and army lodgings are the reason we have harbor.
To make things more confusing, there’s borrow. No, that’s not a mistyping of burrow or barrow, both of which would make more sense. Borrow, like borrowing something. It comes from the Old English borgian, to pledge, which is from the Proto Germanic burg-, from bhergh-. And as far as I can tell, is not related to the suffices -burg or -berg. Because of course not.
And bargain is also from there. It showed up in the thirteenth century from the Old French bargaignier, which is from the Frankish borganjan, to lend. That’s from the Proto Germanic brogan, which is also from bhergh-. I can see this one being related to borrow, but the rest of them? That’s just bizarre.
Maybe next week I’ll do the other PIE bhergh-, just to show you how all the burg- words are somehow not related to this one.
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, October 10, 2023

Taking A Shower

The absolute worst time to find out the hot water isn’t working.
Panel 1, I walk into the bathroom with a towel, Panel 2, I shut the door, Panel 3, the shut door, Panel 4, PSHHHHHHHH sound effect as the water comes on and I scream as I discover it’s ice cold
When it reset, it started working again, but there could be a problem with the igniter. Because everything has to be very, very expensive.

Thursday, October 5, 2023

Language Of Confusion: Ak-!, Part IV

Now for our final look at words descended from the Proto Indo European root ak-, meaning to be sharp, rise to a point, or pierce. Turns out things can get much weirder than last week.
Exacerbate means to increase the bitterness of—generally figuratively. It showed up in the mid seventeenth century while exacerbation showed up back in the fifteenth century, and when do you ever used that word these days? It’s from the Late Latin exacerbationem, from the classical Latin verb exacerbare, to exacerbate. The ex- is though to mean thoroughly here, while the rest is from acerbus, bitter, which we actually talked about three weeks ago as being the origin of acerbic! To exacerbate, to make more bitter.
I feel like no one’s going to expect this one after all the words we’ve had about sharp smelling things. Oxygen—yes, air!—showed up in 1790 from the French oxygène, because the gas that we breathe was named by a French chemist. It’s from the Greek oxys, which means sharp and is from ak-. Oxygen, the thing famous for not smelling like anything, for some reason has the root word for sharp. I don’t know why. You’d have to ask Antoine-Laurent Lavoisier.
Epoxy is actually from the same place. It didn’t show up until 1916, with the epi- a word forming element meaning on or upon and the oxy from oxygen. Epoxy is a resin used to make glue, it has oxygen in it, there’s bonding involved, so epoxy.
Now for something different: paragon. It showed up in the mid sixteenth century from the French paragon. That’s from the Italian paragone (a touchstone to test gold), Latin paragonare, and Greek parakonan, to sharpen or whet. Para- means alongside, with akone meaning whetstone and from ak-. Whetstone to touchstone to a paragon of excellence. I can see it. Weird journey, though.
How about we look at the opposite of that? Mediocre showed up in the late sixteenth century, from the French mediocre and classical Latin mediocris, average. The first part is from medius, the middle, while the end is from ocris, a jagged mountain. Being mediocre is being halfway up the mountain. Man, I really didn’t expect that one to make sense.
Online Etymology Dictionary
Google Translate
University of Texas at San Antonio’s page on Proto Indo European language
Encyclopaedia Britannica
Orbis Latinus

Tuesday, October 3, 2023

October Goals

What the hell? How did it get to be October? That’s not supposed to happen. Somebody needs to fix this.
As usual, I don’t remember what I planned for last month…
September Goals
1. Continue editing the book and promoting the web serial. I am so bad at this.
The editing’s still going on. Marketing is a dumpster fire. I don’t even know what it is. It sounds fake.
2. Work on something pointless that lets me recharge creatively.
At least this was easy enough.
3. Figure out what I want to work on next.
And I did this! Yay! I have an idea and everything!
Like I said last month, aim low. As I plan to this month.
October Goals
1. Keep editing the WIP and posting the chapters.
2. Ugh, time to update the etymology page again.
3. Get to work on the new WIP idea I have. Definitely excited about this.
Will I succeed? I aim so low, it would be astonishing if I didn’t. What do you want to do this month? Excited about Halloween?