Saturday, January 20, 2018

Told You So

Sometimes they don’t understand no matter how many times you try to explain it.
Not pictured here is her going out and hiding under a table and then whining desperately to try to get me to go out and carry her back inside so she doesn’t have to touch the snow.

She’s a delicate flower.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Language of Confusion: Legs, Part II

This week, the -logue words.

Dialogue showed up in the early thirteenth century as “a literary work consisting of a conversation between two or more persons”. An entire literary work! Not just one conversation. It comes from the classical Latin dialogus, dialogue, and before that the Greek dialogos, which is also just dialogue. The logos obviously comes from, well, logos, which we learned last week means word, discourse, or reason and comes from the Proto Indo European word for collect or gather. The dia means across here and may be from the Proto Indo European dwo-, which is the origin of two. This means the word is discourse across. I guess that follows. And let’s not forget monologue, which showed up much later in the mid seventeenth century. It’s a mix of the Greek monos, single (from the PIE men-, which means to think (don’t think too much about why that is (we’ll get to it someday (lets see how many layers of nested comments I can do! (five))))). So it’s one across instead of two across…I think.

Catalogue showed up in the early fifteenth century as cathaloge, from the Old French catalogue (how is the French closer than its original English form?) and Late Latin catalogus (catalogue), from the Greek katalogos, list. The kata/cata part means down and with logos…it’s word down. Makes sense!

Here’s a couple I’m sure you’re all familiar with. Prologue showed up in the early fourteenth century  from the Old French prologue, classical Latin prologus, prologue, and as usual the Greek prologos, once again prologue. The pro- means before, so it’s the word before. And there’s epilogue, which showed up an entire century later. This time it’s from Middle French, the word epilogue, which is from the classical Latin epilogus and Greek epilogos, both just epilogue. You get the drill. The epi- means in addition here, so it’s the additional word!

Now for analogue. It showed up in 1826 from the French (modern French, that’s how recent it is) analogue, similar. In Latin it’s analogus (analogous) and in Greek it’s analogos, which means considering. The ana- means throughout or according to, making it the word according to? The reason according to? This one’s a little hard to follow.

Whew! That’s all for this week!


Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Weird Searches

It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these, right?

Ask your dog if it burns when he pees. Then you’ll know.

The sleeping habits of snails are important to know!

The ones about how to get taller may be because of my own personal search history.

If google knows what those things are called just from you typing those things” you may need to adjust your privacy settings.

Because you have a fungus! Get some athlete’s foot powder! Yes I know you don’t work out it’s just the name! 

Saturday, January 13, 2018


Isn’t that a cool word? That’s what they were calling the big storm from a couple of weeks ago. The name literally means “generation of bombs”, but I don’t think it was the worst storm we’ve ever had. Still, it had its moments.
I forgot. This is New England and the weather here operates on cartoon logic.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Language of Confusion: Legs, Part I

Not like legs, but logos. Except legs. You’ll see what Im getting at in a minute.

Logo, like what businesses use, is (probably) just short for logogram, which meant a sign or a character representing a word when it showed up in 1840 (it didn’t mean what we call a logo until a century later). It’s a combination of logo- and -gram…so yeah, kind of recursive there. So what is logo-? Or, before vowels, log-?

Logo means speech or word, coming from the Greek logos, word, discourse or reason. It can be traced all the way back to the Proto Indo European leg- (hence the title), which means collect or gather and is one of those words with a huge amount of offshoots.

First, the suffix -logy, which is part of words like apology, anything that ends in -logue, and pretty much every field of study (biology, geology, etymology, for crying out loud). Which makes sense since it means discourse, theory, or science. It came to us from the Medieval Latin -logia and the Greek -logia, from legein, to speak. Then there’s words with lect in them, and…

The point is, this is going to be a loooooooong series.


Tuesday, January 9, 2018

January Goals

Oh man. I can’t believe it’s January again. A whole new year. Is it too much to hope that it’ll be a good one for once?

Anyway, here’s what I was supposed to do last month:

1. Update etymology page. I think it’s been a few months and those words add up.
Hey, I did this, for all your etymology needs.

2. Hopefully write something.
Meh, kind of. It’s been hard to find any motivation lately. You know what with the world being such a dumpster fire.

3. Christmas. Yeesh.
I survived. And more surprisingly, so did everyone else.

So what should I do this month?

1. Find a better way to keep track of my goals and resolutions, even if I have to staple a paper to my computer to remember.

2. Write! Something! Anything!

3. Do all the stupid adult stuff I have to do. Ugh, I hate being an adult. Everything has to be difficult.

That’s what I want to do for January. What are you up to this month?

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Christmas Shopping

This…yeah, it’s pretty much what happened back on Christmas. My mom’s really weird sometimes. All the time.