Tuesday, July 16, 2024

From The Spamfiles

I love these posts. They’re so easy. Spam is one item always in abundance.

Message from Meta, saying Facebook: Please verify your account. We’ve noticed some unusual activity! - 9932
It’s spam, but probably doesn’t steal as much personal information as Meta does.

Message from Amazon ID, saying Suspend, followed by a series of letters and numbers, then in the actual message is even more random letters and numbers
I guess they’re trying to tell me my account is suspended? It’s hard to tell since most of it is just random letters. If you’re going to spam, at least make it clear.

Message from mizmos251 at mizmos dot com, no subject, and then a ten digit number in the message body
Mizmos! It’s just fun to say.

Message form Malik SEO with a Guest Post Proposal, saying I hope this email finds you well. I am reaching out to inquire about the possibility…
I am immediately suspicious of any one wanting to put a guest post on my blog. I have like three followers. Clearly they don’t know what they’re doing.
 
Message from a random number saying Free Msg: Since this unusual purchase is large we have blocked the transaction. If not verified visit… then a shortened link
Free MSG! Get your free MSG here!

Thursday, July 11, 2024

Language Of Confusion: Wait, Part I

What am I, a waiter?

Anyway, wait showed up in the thirteenth century meaning to watch for with hostile intent—like lay in wait. It wasn’t until the late fourteenth century that it meant to stay in a place, see to it that something occurs, or to attend to, and from that last meaning, it start to mean to wait tables in the mid sixteenth century. It comes from the Anglo French/Old North French watier, to watch, from the Frankish wahton, Proto Germanic what-, and all the way back to the Proto Indo European weg-, to be strong or lively. Which I guess you need to be if you’re laying in wait for someone.
 
A lot of other words related to watchfulness come from weg-. You know, like watch. That actually comes from the Old English waecce, watch, and waeccan, to keep watch, and that’s from the Proto Germanic wakjan, which is also from weg-. Who would have thought, watch and wait?
 
Also unsurprisingly related is wake—but only the waking up one, the one related to boats is not from the same origin. Wake is actually from the Old English words wacan, to awake, and wacian, to be awake (I guess those things used to be separate), and like watch is from wakjan, wake is from the Proto Germanic wakjanan. Weird that they took on such different sounds.
 
Let’s see what Latin has done to the word. Vigil is also related, having shown up in the thirteenth century meaning the eve of a religious festival—or keeping watch on a festival eve—not coming to mean keeping awake on purpose until 1711. It’s from the Anglo French/Old French vigile, from the classical Latin vigilia (watch), and finally weg-. There’s also vigor, which showed up in the fourteenth century from the Anglo French vigour and Old French vigor, which are from the Latin vigorem, strength. So Latin makes it so we turned the W into a V. Sure.
 
Sources
Online Etymology Dictionary
Google Translate
Omniglot
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
Fordham University

Tuesday, July 9, 2024

One Fourth

You either get the reference or you don’t.
Panel 1, I’m with my mom, measuring a door with a tape measure, and she says, “This door’s been broken for years. About time I replaced it.” “Okay, it’s seventy six plus three eighths inches long.” Panel 2, I’m still measuring and I say, “No, wait. It’s seventy six and a fourth.” Panel 3, I’m still measuring, I say, “Okay, I was wrong. Seventy six and an eighth.” Panel 4, standing up now, I say, “We may have a House Of Leaves situation going on here.” She says, “I didn’t read that book, I don’t get the reference, but we do not.”
Granted, it’s better than being bigger on the inside than on the outside, but I still don’t know why it was different each time.

Thursday, July 4, 2024

Language Of Confusion: Knot

Inspired by last week, with knot somehow not being related to the Proto Indo European word for bind or tie. Knot actually comes from the Old English cnotta, intertwining of ropes or cords, and at its earliest is from the Proto Germanic knuttan-. You’d think that be related to last week’s ned-, especially since that’s where net is from, but there’s no evidence of that, and as we all know, words are stupid.
 
There actually aren’t any other words related to knot. It’s a total stand alone! But we can still find stuff to talk about. First of all, knot as a nautical measure of speed. That showed up in the mid seventeenth century, and is because of the log line of a sailing ship. A log is a measure of a ship’s progress, because a log, as in a piece of wood, was used on the log line. The log line was let out behind the ship, and it would pull out the rope at regular knotted intervals, and the faster it went, the more knots were pulled out—hence, knots per hour.
 
Still awfully short. How about we look at the Kn combination. Isn’t it weird? There’s just a K there, and we don’t even pronounce it. It showed up in Middle English as the spelling for a common Germanic sound combination—they actually say the K sound there, so in other Germanic languages, it’s k-nife and k-night, and in fact we used to say it, too, but stopped around the mid eighteenth century. In Old English, they used a C in place of the K (which is why it’s cnotta up there), but it was the same sound. Just another reason why the letter C is redundant.
 
Sources
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

Tuesday, July 2, 2024

July Goals

Well, we’re officially halfway through the year. Anyone else distressed at how this could have happened? No? Just me then?
 
June Goals
1. Start posting the web serial again, and keep working on it.
This at least was easy.
 
2. Do something fun and distracting to recharge.
Meh, kind of. Could probably use more recharging. My battery is very bad at holding a charge.
 
3. Work on getting beta readers for my WIP. Opening up to people with my work is hard, and I need people I can trust. So yeah. This is quite a task.
I did manage to do this, though I’m still hoping to find more. The finding is the really tough part.
 
Remember when there were a ton of write-bloggers? There were awards and contests and online get-togethers. Hell, you could go on social media and meet other writers there. It was awesome. I miss those days.
 
July Goals
1. Work on notes from beta readers. It looks promising so far.
 
2. Find more beta readers and writer places. Please, just don’t make me have to go on Discord. Unfortunately it seems every other social media is dead now.
 
3. Sigh. Once again, update my etymology pages. I keep hoping they’ll update Blogger so it doesn’t suck any more, but fat chance of that happening when it took over a month for them to fix the problem with the links.
 
That’s what I want for this month, though who knows what will happen? What do you want to do this month? Where do you meet other writers?

Thursday, June 27, 2024

Language Of Confusion: Connection

Another single-parter. Shocking, I know.
 
Connect showed up in the mid fifteenth century, from the classical Latin conectere (I bet you can guess what that means). It’s actually a mix of the prefix com, together, and nectereto bind together. Or, you know, connect. Connecting is… connecting with. That nectere is from the Proto Indo European ned-, to bind or tie, and that one is part of quite a few words.
 
First of all, there’s annex, which showed up in the late fourteenth century from the Old French annexer, Medieval Latin annexare, and classical Latin annectere, to attach. The ad- means to, so with nectere, annex means to bind to. Nexus is also from that word, having shown up in the mid seventeenth century meaning a bond, the dependence between members of a group, or a means of communication. It’s directly from the classical Latin version of the word, which literally means connection and is the past participle of nectere. Because a nexus was a means of communication, it became known as the core or center of something.
 
Speaking of centers, node is also related. It showed up in the early fifteenth century meaning a knot or lump, then a point of intersection specifically in astronomy before it came into more general use. Anyway, it’s from the classical Latin nodus, knot, which is also from ned-. Nodule is from almost the same place, though it’s older, having shown up in the fifteenth century. It’s from the classical Latin nodulus, nodule, a diminutive of nodus.
 
Also related is the word net, but not as in net profit, only like netting. It’s from the Old English net and Proto Germanic natjo-, and it’s thought to be something knotted, and so from ned-. It’s probably in the same vein that noose is related. That word showed up in the mid fifteenth century, and it’s thought to be from the Old Provençal nous, or knot, which is from ned-. I mean, nooses are knotted. With all these knots showing up, you’d think knot would be related, but for the record, no, it’s not.
 
And now for the denouement. Literally. That word is related. It showed up in the mid eighteenth century from the French dénouement, which is from the verb dénouer, meaning… untie. Because a denouement is the solution of a mystery or winding up of a plot—or an untying. It’s a mix of the prefix dis-, un or out and nouer, to tie, which is from ned-. And I have to admit, that one makes sense.
 
Sources
Online Etymology Dictionary
Google Translate
Omniglot
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, June 25, 2024

First Steps

The actual story of my nephew’s first steps. The boy loves his snacks.
Panel 1, my nephew is on the ground and his mom says, “No, no more snacks, it’s almost dinner time.” Panel 2, he starts getting to his feet, Panel 3, he stands there while his mother stares in shock, Panel 4, he walks away to her increasing surprise
He was something of a late walker, since he didn’t start until sixteen months old, and his parents kept trying to encourage him to no avail. Apparently all they had to do was tell him no snacks so he’d leave in a huff.

Thursday, June 20, 2024

Language Of Confusion: Potential

Today’s lesson is brought to you by the fact that potent is not related to any other word that ends in -tent, and that fact just really bugs me.
 
Potent showed up in the early fifteenth century, a little after the word potential and before potency. All three words are from the same origin, the classical Latin potens which means powerful and is from… posse. Which means to be able, and is actually traced to the Proto Indo European poti-, powerful or lord.
 
And yeah, that’s where posse is from, though it didn’t show up until the seventeenth century, and that’s actually short for the Latin phrase posse comitatus, to be accompanied. Comitatus means company or a body of men, meaning the phrase roughly means a force of men. The modern slang of it is taken from Westerns.
 
Add another S to the end of that word and you have possess, which is also related, but I looked at that word not too many years ago. In any case, it’s just the first half of the word that’s related, and through a slightly different way than from posse. It’s from the verb possidere, to possess, where the front half is related to potis, to be able (the word is related to posse) and the back half from sedere, to sit. I guess that means to possess is to be able to sit.
 
The next posse word? Possible, which showed up in the mid fourteenth century from the Old French possible and classical Latin possibilis, to be possible. Something possible is something able to be done. There’s also despot, which does sound like pot- with a des- on the front. It showed up in the mid sixteenth century from the Italian dispotto, from the Medieval Latin despota, and before that, the Greek despotes, all which pretty much had the same meaning. The word is actually from the PIE dems-pota, with dem- meaning house and the rest from poti. I guess the head of a house is supposed to be powerful.
 
Speaking of power, it showed up in the fourteenth century from the Anglo French pouair and Old French povoir, which is from the verb podir, which is from the Vulgar Latin potere, and doesn’t that look familiar. Potere is from potis, which means power is from the same place, it just lost the T.
 
The final word we’re looking at, related to all of these, is… Host. Really. It showed up in the late thirteenth century from the Old French oste/hoste, from the classical Latin hospitem, guest. Yeah, host came from guest. The word is thought to be from the PIE ghos-pot-, the first part from ghos-ti, stranger or guest, and the pot- part from poti-. A host is a lord of guests.
 
Sources

Tuesday, June 18, 2024

From The Spamfiles

How are the spammers trying to scam me this month?

Message from IMran “i rana”, saying unique content for approval, Hi, SEO Dynamis is now writing unique human-written articles to get…
I was going to comment on the whole I M ran thing, or the i rana, but then I saw that it boasts “human-written” articles, and I got bummed that that’s now something we have to say.

Three messages, two from POF, and the third from Plenty of Fish, saying Welcome to Plenty of Fish, you’re new around here, your profile is incomplete, new matches, just for you, and apparently the user name is Jeurytqzw
Don’t know how I ended up on this mailing list, or why the name involved is “Jeurytqzw”. It sounds like someone sneezed.

Message from viv78 at vivcity dot com, no subject, 1938444924
Viv at Vivcity is sending me a ten digit number. Just for fun, I guess.

Message from FB, saying Facebook: Please verify your account, we’ve noticed some unusual activity, exclamation point, 28843
Well, it’s Facebook, so I assume the unusual activity is implying people shouldn’t be allowed to be bigots and maybe scientists who’ve spent decades studying things actually know what they’re talking about.

Another bot that’s following my Tumblr, untitled, name of 123456787…, and pictures of mostly naked women in the profile
Yes, there’s nothing that screams “Not a bot” more than a user name of 123456787…

Thursday, June 13, 2024

Language Of Confusion: Ne-, Part V

And now the final part of our look into the Proto Indo European root ne-, which means not. We’ve gotten through all the words, but there are actually quite a few prefixes that come from it.
 
First is the one we’ve already seen a bunch of times: non-. It means not or lack of, from the Anglo French noun-, Old French non-, and classical Latin non, which, as we’ve talked about, just means no. This is definitely the most straightforward of these.
 
Next, in. Well, one version of in, because there are two, one meaning into, in, on, or upon, and the other meaning not, opposite of, or without. And guess what! They aren’t related at all. You just kind of have to guess which in- the prefix is from. The in- we’re looking at was also used in Latin and is of course traced to ne-. Ne- means not, so words with in- mean not. At least, when they’re not the other in-.
 
Directly related to in is an- (note, not the article an, which is completely not related). An- is actually from the Greek an-, not or without, which, like in-, is from ne. Plus there’s also a-, which actually has three different prefix versions. One is related to the article, one means away and is from ab-, and finally there’s the one that’s also from the Greek an- and also means not or without, just without the n.
 
So in- is Latin, and a- and an- are Greek. There’s also un-, which comes to us from the other branch of the family, the Old English un-, which is from the Proto Germanic un-, and obviously that’s from ne-. And much like the other prefixes, there’s another version of it, however this one means pretty close to the same damn thing. Instead of not-, it means reversal or removal, i.e. undo instead of do, and it’s from the Proto Indo European ant-. I’m not even sure how you’re supposed to tell them apart, but that probably doesn’t matter unless you’re studying linguistics.
 
Sources
Online Etymology Dictionary
Google Translate
Omniglot
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
Fordham University

Tuesday, June 11, 2024

Don’t Disturb The Nap

She’s mostly a sweet kitty, but god help you if you try to move her from her nap spot.
Panel 1, my cat Peaches is on my unmade bed, asleep, and I walk in, Panel 2, I say, “Okay, I want to make my bed. Time to move.” Panel 3, Peaches growls at me, Panel 4, I say, “Well, that seems like an overreaction.”
It’s quite rude, really.

Thursday, June 6, 2024

Language Of Confusion: Ne-, Part IV

Once again, we’re looking at the Proto Indo European root ne-, which means not, and is the origin for a lot of words that are related to not and no. And some that aren’t.
 
First, did you no deny is from there? Because it is. It showed up in the early early fourteenth century, coming from the Old French denoiir and before that the classical Latin denegare, which is just to deny. The de- is actually the prefix meaning away, while negare means to deny or say no to, and is the origin word for negative, which we looked at a couple of weeks ago and means to deny. So to deny is… to deny away. It kind of makes sense.
 
Also related? Nefarious. Yes, really. It showed up in the seventeenth century (I guess nothing was nefarious before then), from the Latin nefarius, same meaning. That’s from the word nefas, which means wrong in the sense of a crime, and that’s a mix of ne-, not, and fas, right or lawful. Nefarious is not lawful.
 
The word nonplussed is also related, having shown up in the seventeenth century as the past tense of nonplus. Nonplus isn’t that much older, having shown up in the late sixteenth century, and it’s literally a mix of the prefix non- (from ne- of course) and plus, which in Latin means no more or no further. Apparently nonplus, to perplex or confound, is a state where “nothing more can be done or said”.
 
But that’s not weird enough. Neuter—and thus everything related to it, like neutral—is also from there. Neuter is the oldest, having shown up in the late fourteenth century, while neutral didn’t show up until the sixteenth century in alchemy (!) and meant contrasting elements that neutralized each other. Anyway, neuter, the source of these words, comes from the classical Latin neuter, which means neither, with the ne- meaning not, and the -uter meaning either. Neuter is neither.
 
Now for the final word, the one I know you won’t expect: nice. I mean, come on, really? Nice showed up in the late thirteenth century, but back then it meant foolish or ignorant. It started to mean fussy or fastidious, then dainty and delicate around the fifteenth century, then precise or careful in the sixteenth, and finally agreeable or delightful in the eighteenth century, finally becoming kind or thoughtful in 1830. It comes from the Old French nice, which hade the foolish definition, and that’s from the Latin nescius, ignorant. The ne- part is not (obviously), while the rest is from scire, to know, the origin word of science. So nice went from meaning not-knowing to fussy to dainty to agreeable to kind. Keep that in mind next time you’re reading/writing historical fiction.
 
Sources
Online Etymology Dictionary
Google Translate
Omniglot
University of Texas at Austin Linguistic Research Center
University of Texas at San Antonio’s page on Proto Indo European language

Tuesday, June 4, 2024

June Goals

Somehow, it’s June already. Summer is weeks away, as is the midway point of the year. I’m sure I’ve accomplished absolutely nothing.
 
May Goals
1. Start writing something new.
Kind of. I’ve been fooling around with side stories to old projects. I still haven’t figured out what I want to work on next.
 
2. Edit the web serial and improve it.
Did this. Well, I edited. I’m not exactly sure I improved it.
 
3. Figure out what I want to do next for my last WIP. It’s not quite ready to be looked at by others, so I want to get it there.
I didn’t do this, as I haven’t been quite ready to look at it. I may need input from others.
 
As I thought, pretty much nothing. Some months you just have to get through.
 
June Goals
1. Start posting the web serial again, and keep working on it.
 
2. Do something fun and distracting to recharge.
 
3. Work on getting beta readers for my WIP. Opening up to people with my work is hard, and I need people I can trust. So yeah. This is quite a task.
 
What do you want to do this month? Where do you look for beta readers?

Thursday, May 30, 2024

Language Of Confusion: Ne-, Part III

We’re back to the Proto Indo European root ne-, which means not, and is the origin for so many no words.
 
Okay, we’ll start with the word that’s in all of these: no. It comes from the Old English na, which is actually a combination of ne, not, and a, meaning ever. Ne is from the Proto Germanic ne, which is from the PIE ne-, while the a is from the root aiw-, life or eternity. Wow, so no really means not-ever.
 
Then we have none, which comes from the Middle English non/none and Old English nan, not one, not any, or no person. Nan is a combination of ne-, which we talked just about as meaning not, pay attention here, and an, one, so nan is not one—or none. It’s definitely related to the classical Latin non-, which of course is from the PIE ne-. And then there’s nothing, which I’ve actually looked at before (along with several other of these words) but it was a long while ago, so let’s check it again. It comes from the Old English naþing, which is another combination, this of nan and þing, so nothing is none-thing, or not one thing.
 
Of course, there’s also not, which showed up in the mid thirteenth century as a variant of naught, another word from last week. Then we have neither, which is from the Middle English neither/naither/nether and Old English nawþer, which is actually a contraction of nahwaeþer, na (no) + hwaeþer (which of two, the origin of whether). This makes neither “not which of two”, or not whether. And similarly, nor is just no + or. And all those nose come from ne-.
 
So does that mean never is just no + ever? Yes. Yes it does. Never comes from the Middle English never and Old English naefre, never or not ever. Not-ever. Yes, ne- means not, and aefre means always or ever. No! Really?
 
Sources
Online Etymology Dictionary
Omniglot
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

Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Clogged Drain

Had a really bad clog in the bathroom drain a couple of weeks ago.
Panel 1, I’m at a store with a friend picking up a drain snake and liquid plumber, frowning while looking down at the items, and they say, “If the drain cleaner doesn’t clear that clog, the snake will.” And I say “Hm.” Panel 2, they ask “What?”, and I say, “Just reading the warning for cancer and reproductive health.” “Well, that drain cleaner is powerful stuff.” “It’s for the snake.” Panel 3, they stare blankly, Panel 4, they say, “What… What are people doing with the snake?” and I say, “Good question.”
At least I got rid of the clog. Eventually.

Thursday, May 23, 2024

Language Of Confusion: Ne-, Part II

Back looking at the Proto Indo European root ne-, which means not, so of course most of the words related to it have to do with negation.
 
First, null, which showed up in the mid sixteenth century, a few decades before nullify. It comes from the French nul, which is from the classical Latin nullus, which means none, and none is of course from ne-. As for nullify, the -ify part of it comes from facere, to do or make, and I know I’ve talked about that before, it’s the origin of stuff like factory and feat, among other things.
 
Unsurprisingly, nil is closely related, though it didn’t show up until 1833—before that, it was either nihil or nihilum, both of which are just Latin words for nothing. In Latin, it’s a mix of ne-, not, and hilum, thing. So nil is… nothing.
 
Then there’s annul, which showed up in the late fourteenth century from the Old French anuler and Late Latin annullare, to make into nothing. The a- comes from ad, to, and of course the rest is from nullus, so to annul is to nothing something. Plus we have annihilate, which in addition to being really annoying to spell, still has the hilum part of nothing. It showed up in the mid sixteenth century from the Medieval Latin annihilates, from the verb annihilare, which all mean to reduce to nothing. A- is again from ad, so annihilate is also to nothing something. It just didn’t get rid of the hil part.
 
We also have naught, another word I’ve done before but is being done again. It showed up in the mid fourteenth century meaning an evil act as well as a trifle, or in math, zero, and somewhere along the way it lost the evil part. It comes from the Old English nawiht, nothing, which is literally a mix of na, no, (which is from ne-) and wiht, being, creature, or thing. Naught is ALSO nothing. Nought has the exact same origin, too, we just for some reason changed the A to an O in modern English. And yes, naughty is also related. It showed up in the late fourteenth century meaning needy or having nothing as well as evil or immoral, but then it lost the nothing meaning and kept the evil one. It is yet another word from nawiht, it just evolved the other way.
 
Sources
Online Etymology Dictionary
Google Translate
Omniglot
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
Orbis Latinus

Tuesday, May 21, 2024

From The Spamfiles

It’s that magical time again! Let’s look at the scams people somehow actually fall for.

A message allegedly from McAfee saying Final Warning, Your account will be removed today, ellipsis, exclamation point. All devices are unprotected, period, question mark, comma, period, arrow emoji, exclamation point
This spammer seems to think the more punctuation they use, the more legitimate they look. They should have thrown in some semi-colons and parentheses.

Message from Vena CBD, saying buy one get one free, today only, Black Friday starts now! But only for 24 hours
Leaving aside the fact that I don’t use CBD, this is inviting me to a Black Friday sale. While this message is old, it’s not six months old. This is like from February. It’s a little late!

Message from UPS (with the R circle symbol), saying you have parentheses one package waiting for delivery
It’s got a circle R, it must be real!

Yet another message from UPS (and the R circle symbol), saying you have parentheses one package waiting for delivery, box emojis, a random number, and then truck emojis
The first one didn’t work, so they figured throwing some emojis in there would make it look more realistic.

Three comments from Rajani Rehana, one saying Please read my post and the other two saying Great blog
Rajani was making the rounds again a few months back. And I think a few weeks ago. She shows up a lot here.

Thursday, May 16, 2024

Language Of Confusion: Ne-, Part I

Yet another small Proto Indo European word that shows up in a bunch of stuff, most of which you can kind of see. But of course there are some weirdos in there.
 
The word that started me down this particular rabbit hole is negative. It showed up in the late fourteenth century, so three hundred years before negate in 1795. It comes from the Anglo French negatif, Old French negatif, and classical Latin negativus, all with roughly the same meaning we use. It’s from the verb negare, to deny, and that is from the Proto Indo European root ne-, which means not. Negative is not.
 
How about a bunch of other words that look similar but have completely different meanings? Take neglect for example. It showed up in the sixteenth century from the classical Latin neglectus, (neglect), from its verb form neglegere (to ignore). The first part is from ne-, so it means not, and legere I looked at not too long ago as the origin of -lect/-log/-leg words and means to collect or gather. To neglect is to not collect or gather. Because you’re ignoring it. Fun fact, somehow negligee is from neglegere, too. We have French to thank for that one, as a negligee was called that because in the eighteenth century it was considered the opposite of the full outfit women wore.
 
Next, negotiate, which showed up in the late sixteenth century from negotiation, which showed up in the early fifteenth century. It’s from the Old French negociacion and classical Latin negotiationem, business. The -otium part literally means ease or leisure, so with ne- meaning not, business is not leisure. I guess that’s why you negotiate it.
 
Then there’s renege, which showed up in the mid sixteenth century, though back then it meant to deny, not meaning to go back on your word until the late eighteenth century. It’s from the Medieval Latin renegare, with the re- prefix thought to just be intensive here, and negare of course meaning to deny. So to renege initially meant when you were really denying something. Renegade is actually from the same word. It showed up in the late sixteenth century actually from the Spanish renegado, which originally referred to a Christian who became a Muslim. The word is from the Medieval Latin renegatus, which is the noun version of renegare. A renegade was originally just someone who started following a different faith. Which of course was a big issue back in the fifteen hundreds.
 
Sources
Online Etymology Dictionary
Google Translate
Omniglot
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
Fordham University

Tuesday, May 14, 2024

Outside Cat

Bluey the cat thinks she wants to go outside.
Panel 1, Bluey the cat is scratching at the door like she wants to go out and I say, “Want to go outside, huh?” Panel 2, I put a cat harness on her, saying, “I know, you hate the harness. Well too bad.” panel 3, I take her outside and say, “Here you go! Outside!” Panel 4, she’s jumping on my head and I say, “Somehow I thought it might end up like this.”
She’s been inside her entire life, so I’m not surprised she doesn’t really like the outside. She also really doesn’t like the harness.

Thursday, May 9, 2024

Language Of Confusion: Ready Or Not

Ready is kind of a weird word. It comes from the Middle English redi and Old English raede or geraede, which means, well, ready. It’s from the Proto Germanic (ga)raitha-, which might just be from the Proto Indo European reidh-, to ride. I mean, I guess you want to be ready if you’re riding something. And I suppose that might not even be its origin.
 
Okay, this is too short on its own, so let’s look at ride just in case they are related after all. It comes from the Middle English riden, which is from the Old English ridan. Straightforward so far. That’s from the Proto Germanic ridan, which is from reidh-, because this word barely changed in the past several thousand years.
 
Unbelievably, road is from here—yes, R-O-A-D, though rode, past tense of ride, is obviously from the same place, too. But road was actually rode in Middle English, then rad in Old English, and before that it was the Proto Germanic raido. And what’s that from? Reidh-. Because you ride on roads.
 
And still we’re not done! Raid showed up in the early fifteenth century, and that is also from the Old English rad, because a raid was a “mounted military expedition”, meaning they were riding. So even if ready isn’t related, we are certain that ride, road, and raid are.
 
What the hell.
 
Sources
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

Tuesday, May 7, 2024

May Goals

Wow, somehow May happened when I wasn’t paying attention. Not thrilled with this. What was I even supposed to do this past month?
 
April Goals
1. Actually take some time to rest and creatively recharge.
Well, this was easy. I got a lot of reading done, so I’m pleased with that.
 
2. Update the etymology page. Ugh.
It’s still a huge pain in the ass and I still can’t get rid of the spaces between the words, but at least it’s done.
 
3. Figure out what I want to work on next. Something old? Something new?
I think I know what I want to work on next. Hopefully I’ll have the motivation to get underway.
 
Not bad, though it’s not like it’s a great burden to read and think about writing. Now for this month…
 
May Goals
1. Start writing something new.
 
2. Edit the web serial and improve it.
 
3. Figure out what I want to do next for my last WIP. It’s not quite ready to be looked at by others, so I want to get it there.
 
That’s what I want for this month. What do you want to do this May?

Thursday, May 2, 2024

Language Of Confusion: Armed, Part V

The final part on words descended from the Proto Indo European ar-, to fit together. Now I’m going to have to come up with something new.
 
The first is arthropod—yes, like an insect, spider, or crustacean (one of the reasons I won’t eat them). The word showed up in 1862, though the phylum name Arthropoda showed up in 1849. That’s taken straight from the classical Latin, which literally means those with joined feet. The -poda part means foot and is from the Proto Indo European ped-, while the arthro- is from the Greek, a joint, and that’s from ar-. So because many feet are joined together, we have arthropod.
 
Next somehow is aristocracy, which showed up in the mid sixteenth century from the French aristocracie. That’s from the Late Latin aristocratia, which is from the Greek aristokratia, which just means aristocracy. -Cracy means rule or government, from the Greek Kartos, strength, while aristo- is from aristros, optimal or best. And aristos just happens to be from ar-, though I don’t quite get how best/optimal comes from to fit together.
 
Then there’s alarm, which showed up in the late fourteenth century meaning a call to arms, which then transformed into meaning a warning. It comes from the Old French alarme, which is from the Italian all’arme, short for alle arme, to arms, which is something you’d yell as a warning. The first a in alle means to, then the le is from the Latin ille, the, and arme is from arma, weapons, one of the first words we talked about. At least this one makes sense.
 
You probably wouldn’t think adorn is from there, but it is. It showed up in the late fourteenth century from the Old French aorner, from the classical Latin adornare, to equip or furnish. The ad- means to, and ornare means to decorate and is from ordo, the origin of order.
 
Inert (of all things) showed up in the mid seventeenth century from the French inerte and classical Latin inertem. The in- means not or opposite of, and the rest is from ars, also known as art. Yes, inert is non-art.
 
Finally, the word I personally find to be the weirdest: harmony. Though harmonizing is fitting melodies together. Anyway, it showed up in the late fourteenth century from the classical Latin harmonia. That’s taken right from the Greek version of the word, which is from harmos, a joint or shoulder, which is from ar-. Harmony, once things literally fitting together, and now music doing so.
 
Sources
Online Etymology Dictionary
Google Translate
Omniglot
University of Texas at Austin Linguistic Research Center
University of Texas at San Antonio’s page on Proto Indo European language
Orbis Latinus

Tuesday, April 30, 2024

From The Spamfiles

Bonus spam day! I hope I don’t run out. The spam well has been surprisingly dry lately.

Message from David Wilson, saying Greeting’s Beneficiary (and greetings has an apostrophe before the S), Attn My Dear, I have registered your package with Speed…
Where to begin? I suppose the most egregious insult is that there’s an apostrophe before the S in greetings. Though abbreviating attention is also offensive.

Message from Harbor underscore Freight, saying Congratulations, You have won an 170 Piece Stanley Tool Set, Confirmation Qen
If you put “an” before a number beginning with one, you can get the hell out of my house and never come back.
 Message from Dewalt Power (tm) saying Congratulations You have won an Dewalt Power Station From Harbor Freight, Confirm to receive…
An Power Station. They’re doing this to spite me.

Message from myself apparently, saying We have temporary blocked your email from sending #77618, Gmail, Dear Costumer…
I’m sending this to myself. Also, I’m a costumer.

A comment from Allen Paige saying nice post thaanks for sharing
It’s always the posts that are years old that they comment on. On Tumblr commenting on old posts is actually very normal. On literally everything else it’s just suspicious.

Thursday, April 25, 2024

Language Of Confusion: Armed, Part IV

Here’s even more words from the Proto Indo European ar-, to fit together, continuing all the order words from last week.
 
First of all, ordain, yes, as in ordaining a priest. It showed up in the fourteenth century from the Old French ordener, which meant to place in order or designate, which is from the classical Latin ordinare, to organize (and organize, for the record, has a completely different origin), and that’s from the Proto Italic ordn-, which is from (probably) ar-.
 
Primordial is actually much closer to order. It showed up in the late fourteenth century from the Late Latin primordialis, and before that the classical Latin primordium, the beginning. That’s a combination of primus, first, and ordiri, to begin or be born. That’s from ordn-, which is from ar-. Primordial is the first to be in order.
 
Coordinate showed up in the mid seventeenth century, from the Medieval Latin coordinatus and its verb form coordinare, to set in order. Com- means with or together, and the rest is from ordination, organization. That’s from ordo, order, and thus all the order words. There’s also inordinate, which showed up in the late fourteenth century meaning not ordered, from the classical Latin inordinatus, unorganized. The in- means not or opposite of there, and the rest is ordinare, to organize, so inordinate is unorganized.
 
And similarly, there’s subordinate. It showed up in the mid fifteenth century from the Medieval Latin subordinatus and its verb form subordinare. The sub- means under and the rest is from ordinare, so a subordinate is… organized under? Plus there’s suborn, like suborning perjury (the only time I’ve heard it used). It showed up in the mid sixteenth century from the French suborner and classical Latin subornare, to bribe. We know what sub means, but the ornare means to decorate or equip, so to suborn is to decorate under. Somehow.
 
Sources
Online Etymology Dictionary
Google Translate
Omniglot
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
Orbis Latinus

Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Severe Injury

I really hurt my back… doing absolutely nothing.
Panel 1, I’m asleep in bed, caption: “After several nights of bad sleep, I’m finally sleeping peacefully.” Panel 2, I’m still asleep, Panel 3, I jolt awake, a bolt of pain coming from my back, Panel 4, I’m sitting up, hand on my back, “Why?”
The worst part is, this isn’t even the first time this has happened while I’m asleep. What the hell…