Tuesday, July 25, 2017

From The Spamfiles

Time for an easy post so I don’t have to do any actual work!

Well, the emojis are cute. Also I love how the sender is apparently named “congrat”. I am now signing every email I send with congrat. No one will know what I mean ever again. I will bask in their confusion.

Get your pills from Violent Cough! Sounds trustworthy.

I have to admit, confirming your email to unsubscribe is a new one. It probably automatically downloads every piece of malware ever to your computer. Also I think leaving the s off of congratulations is going on the Spam Bingo list because I get it all the time.

April 5. 2013. A bit late, aren’t we?

I googled this woman and she does exist and is the commander of all that. You’d think she’d have a better email address than “Japanjbkoy555” though.

I’m sure I will, but it won’t be about this.

Anyway, now I’m off to perform with my band Violent Cough. See you around!


Saturday, July 22, 2017


A lot of times these days, I’ve noticed that when you get a reminder for an appointment or something you get a robo-call. Some people don’t like it. But I really don’t mind.

It only took thirty years for something to finally know how to pronounce my name.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Language of Confusion: Feeling Fruity, Part I

I can’t believe I haven’t looked at the origins of the names of fruits before! Well, except for orange, which got covered with colors. There’s plenty more citrus to look at, though. But not this week. Next week. Probably.

Apple comes from the Old English aeppel, which could refer to apples, but also just mean fruit. And apple tree. And eyeball. Look, it’s a weird language. Anyway, it comes from the Proto Germanic apalaz and Proto Indo European abel-, apple. Fun fact, in MiddleEnglish apple used to mean any fruit that wasn’t a berry, and also included some nuts. And the tree of knowledge mentioned in the bible might not have had apples, but some other fruit that people were just calling apples.

Peach showed up in the fifteenth century, although weirdly enough it was a last name as early as the late twelfth century. It comes from the Old French pesche (peach or peach tree), which is from the Medieval Latin pesca and Late Latin pessica/persica. That word happens to be from the classical Latin phrase malum Persicum, which is what they called a peach and literally translates to Persian apple. Although they stole that phrase from Greek. Peaches are actually Chinese, but they did come to Europe via Persia and I guess that’s the name that stuck.

Cherry first showed up in the fourteenth century, although it did appear earlier in the last name Chyrimuth, which is literally cherry mouth and why is that not still a name? It comes from the Anglo French cherise, Old North French also cherise, and Vulgar Latin ceresia. That was also taken from Greek, in this case the word kerasian, cherry, and kerasos, cherry tree. The fun fact for this one is that there was another word for cherry in Old English, ciris, which apparently also comes from ceresia, just via West Germanic. Weird.

Grape showed up in the mid thirteenth century from the Old French grape, which meant…grape. Or a bunch of grapes. It’s thought to be from another Old French word, graper, which could mean pick grapes as well as steal or catch with a hook. If that is where it’s from, then it’s from the Proto Germanic krappon (love that word), which means hook. And might be where cramp comes from. And the fun fact for this one: it used to be winberige in Old English, which translates to wine berry. Because come on. That’s all anyone cared about.

Plum comes from the Old English plume (plum, big shock), via a Germanic use of the Vulgar Latin pruna and classical Latin prunum, plum. And yeah, that’s where prune comes from, too, Well, the dried plum prune. Not what you do to overgrown plants. Before that, prunum is from the Greek prounon/proumnon. And, well, if you ever need an anagram for pronoun, now you have one.

Tony Jebson’s page on the Origins of Old English

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Checking In

Remember how I do resolutions at the beginning of every year? Because I sure didn’t. I meant to check in on them last week but totally forgot about it. So I might as well do it now!

Resolutions 2017
1. Finish the first draft of my new WIP and hopefully start editing it.

2. Come up with an idea for a new story that I probably won’t have time to write but still want anyway.

4. Build a rocket ship and move to Mars because I don’t want to live on this planet anymore.

5. Find a new project to work on in my spare time. You know, something easy that I can work on when I’m too tired to write.

6. Try to eat better.

7. Keep on blogging!

I seem to be on track. Holy crap, I’m even eating better. I can’t believe my goals are actually almost being met. This is insanity. If things keep going this good for me, maybe people won’t be racist, sexist jerkholes anymore! (That would be the replacement for number 3, BTW)

I like how things are going. Well, kind of. Goal-wise. What about you? Now that we’re more than halfway through, how’s 2017 treating you?

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Loads And Loads Of Loading

Why does yelling at it never work?
If you ever hear a faint “Load!”, perhaps it’s me yelling at the wi-fi in a universe that no longer exists.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Language of Confusion: Gone and Done

Now for some basic words that we all use all the time, go and do.

Do comes from the Middle English do, the first person of the Old English don, which just means do. It comes from the West Germanic don and earlier, the Proto Indo European dhe-, set or put in place. As for the other tenses, did comes from the Old English dyde, which is a reduplicated syllable (that means a part of the word was doubled)—which was how West Germanic used to make words past tense.

There’s also does, which comes from doth, which became an S because of the Northumbrian dialect of Old English. Done comes from the Old English gedon, which has a bunch of different meanings, including do. Not sure why they dropped the ge- from it. Maybe so it would fit better? 

Go comes from the Old English gan, which just means go. Before that it was the West Germanic gaian and Proto Indo European gh­e-, release or let go. Funnily enough, go is what’s called a defective verb, which is actually kind of what it sounds like. In grammar terms, defective means that it’s missing some of its forms. You know, like how I can go, but I can’t have goed. Since it was missing a tense, back in Old English used eode, which we lost at some point and replaced with went.

Went used to be a variant past tense/past participle of wend. Somehow it got taken from wend and given to go, and wended became the past tense of wend. For no real reason. What the hell. We could be using eode.

Tony Jebson’s page on the Origins of Old English
Encyclopaedia Britannica

Tuesday, July 11, 2017


I generally like fiction where a story is told in an unusual, experimental format. And this story has that in spades. The fact that it revolves around football of all things is more than a little surprising.

At the time I’m writing this, it’s only posted a couple of chapters and I’m eagerly waiting the next one. Hopefully by the time you’re reading, more are up. Go read it and tell me what you think! Trippy, right?

It does make me wonder what the future is going to be like. The long future, that is. Tens of thousands, even hundreds of thousands of years away. Will humans still be here? If we are, will we even be recognizable as humans? Will we have found some way to save the planet or will we abandon it for somewhere new?

So many questions. I can’t even fathom an answer.

Saturday, July 8, 2017


This…really happened.
So now corn goes on the list of things I can’t leave unattended, which includes donuts, celery, and tomato juice. Although in fairness to Peaches all those other things are because of Veronica.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Language of Confusion: -Tude, Part II

Here’s the second part! And I assume last.

I’ve almost always encountered amplitude as a term in physics, where it’s the size of a wave, but I have heard it a few times as a synonym for largeness, which is literally what it means. It showed up in the mid sixteenth century as a word for being ample, coming from the Middle French amplitude and classical Latin amplitudinem, breadth or extent. The core word here is amplus, which means the largest or spacious, and is of course the origin word for ample. Fun fact: know how Latin usually steals words from Greek? Well, this time they stole it from (okay, technically it evolved from) Proto Italic, where the word is amlo-, or able to seize. Not sure how it got from seize to large, but that’s words for you.

Latitude showed up in the late fourteenth century meaning breadth, which is the second time in this series that we’ve heard that word. It comes from the Old French latitude and classical Latin latitudo, width. So at least that makes sense. It’s from the root word latus, which could mean side, wide, or broad, and is from the Proto Indo European stleto-/stele, spread or extend.

Longitude also showed up in the late fourteenth century, where it meant length or height (so, the opposite of latitude). It comes from the classical Latin longitudo, length, from longus, or as we all know it, long. This means that this word is just long with the -tude suffix on it. It’s weird when words actually make sense.

Altitude makes another that showed up in the late fourteenth century, meaning what it does today, height in the sky. Although back then it referred to the stars in the sky because there weren’t any planes. The word comes from the classical Latin altitudinem, height, and altus, high. The al- is actually a Proto Indo European word for grow or nourish, so this word was always related to height in some way.

Anyway, there are other words that end in -tude—a lot of them, but I don’t really think it’s necessary to go into all of them as there’s nothing new to learn. They’re all verbs or something with -tude on them to make them nouns (like fortitude or multitude). And I’m sure I’ll get to the front part of the word eventually.


Tuesday, July 4, 2017

July Goals

Wow. It’s somehow [current month] already.

I’m just going to be using that as a header on these posts from now on, because I seem to say it all the time. Anyway, goals.

June Goals
1. Get to 50K on my WIP (so about six thousand words).
It was actually less than I thought, so I made it easily. Hopefully I can keep up the pace.

2. Start organizing the outline for abovementioned WIP. This is actually pretty early for me.
Ha ha, no. Didn’t even try.

3. Get to all the stuff this month that I didn’t do last month. If it ever stops raining!
It’s a miracle! It finally stopped raining and now the fire orb is in the sky again! I think I did everything that needed to be done, although I’ll probably remember something else later on.

So I guess I did some things, but not all things. Solid C effort. If you’re grading on a curve. Which is only fair, damn it.

Anyway, this month:

July Goals
1. 10K more on my WIP. Go big or go home.

2. Update my etymology page before it gets ridiculous again.

3. Maybe actually do the outline. If free time starts falling from the sky.

I’m probably overreaching by a lot, sometimes it’s the only way to get going again. What are you up to this month?

Saturday, July 1, 2017


Sometimes I can’t decide what subject to post about.
When in doubt, always go for the option that requires the least amount of effort.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Language of Confusion: -Tude, Part I

I thought that the suffix -Tude would be an interesting thing to look at this week. Then I realized just how many words end in it and I was like, damn it. Damn it all. People just shove it at the end of words all the time because it’s a word forming element that appears in abstract nouns. It’s from the French -ude and classical Latin -udo, and here’s a bunch of words that end with it.

Attitude showed up relatively recently in word terms, sometime in the mid seventeenth century, where it meant a position of a figure in a statue or painting, although it could mean a “mode of regarding” when it was short for the phrase attitude of mind. Apparently from there it morphed to the “posture of the body supposed to imply some mental state” and then in the nineteenth century behavior reflecting an opinion. It wasn’t until 1962 that it took on the arrogant, insolent connotation as a form of slang. Anyway, the word itself comes from the French attitude and Italian attitudine, disposition or posture. Before that it was the Late Latin aptitudinem, which, well, it looks like aptitude for a reason.

Which leads us to our next word. Aptitude showed up in the early fifteenth century from the Late Latin aptitudo, fitness, which is related to the abovementioned aptitudinem. That in turn is from the classical Latin aptus, suited or fitting. How...apt.

Gratitude showed up in the mid fifteenth century from the Middle French gratitude or Medieval Latin gratitudinem, thankfulness, which can be found in the classical Latin gratus, grateful. But looking at grateful and gratitude lets you really see how different the suffix can make a word. Grateful is something you are, while gratitude is something you have!

We have an exact year for this word: 1812, where it showed up meaning dullness. Really! It’s from the French platitude, which literally translates to flatness and comes from the Old French plat, which means flat. And is the origin word for plateau. Plat- is actually a Proto Indo European root word meaning to spread and actually shows up in a lot of words (pretty much anything with flat, plat, or plane in it, as well as more that we’re not getting into today). As for why platitude is another word for cliché, well, you know how dull those sayings are.

That’s it for this week. But don’t worry. There are many more -tude words to look into!


Tuesday, June 27, 2017

From The Spamfiles

Ha ha, I don’t want to have to think up a real post.

Revelation 1: Tarot reading doesn’t work over the internet. Revelation 2: Tarot reading doesn’t work, period.

Sixty-forty in your favor? The cancer widows offer way better deals!

Honestly, I’m just impressed that they used the right discreet. I don’t even use the right discreet.

Looks like I’m at a higher risk for danger signs.


Saturday, June 24, 2017

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Language of Confusion: Full Stop

And now, to complete our sorta trilogy on speed related etymology, here’s stop words.

Stop showed up as a noun in the late fourteenth century (where it meant a plug before stopping in general) and as a verb sometime before that. It comes from the Old English stoppian, stop or close, which is a West Germanic word that’s popped up in other Germanic languages. As for before that, it might be from the Vulgar Latin stuppare (to stop or stuff with tow) and classical Latin stupa, tow. Um, that’s tow like rope fiber. No, I had never heard that before either. Nor is it related to the other kind of two.

Stall has kind of a funny history. It showed up in the fifteenth century, coming from the Old English steall, a place to catch fish or an animal stall or the Old French estale. Steall comes from the Proto Germanic stal and Proto Indo European stel-, to put or stand. The funny part’s coming up, I swear. See, it’s in the way stall evolved in English. In the late sixteenth century it became to distract someone so a pickpocket could steal from them (like a decoy), and then later in the nineteenth century that evolved into a story to avoid doing something, like stalling someone. Come on! That’s funny!

Break, which I alluded to last week, showed up as a noun in the fourteenth century and a verb sometime before that. It comes from the Old English brecan, to separate into two or more pieces, as well as things like shatter, destroy, and smash. It comes from the Proto Germanic brekan and Proto Indo European bhreg-, to break. Of course, the break we’re looking at is supposed to be the one that means resting. Well, that definition didn’t show up until 1861, meant an interval between lessons at school. So…school gave us breaks. Was it worth it? No. Definitely not.

Halt had several definitions over the years. The stop version didn’t show up until the late sixteenth century, and weirdly enough it doesn’t seem to be related to the two other versions of the world, which means lame or to limp (ever heard someone having a halting gait? That’s where it’s from). Stop halt comes from the French halte, halt, which then came from the Old High German halten, to hold. The origin word for hold. And it’s definitely not related to the other halt, which has a totally different history. What the hell.

Stay is another one with a lot of meanings that we don’t use anymore that may or may not be related. There was one that was a support or brace, which is related to another one that is a rope on a ship’s mast, both of which come from the Proto Germanic stagaz and Proto Indo European stak-. There’s also another one that’s more relevant to the subject this week, showing up in the mid fifteenth century from the Old French estai-/estare, to stay or sand. It comes from the classical Latin stare, to stand, and before that the Proto Indo European sta-, stand or make firm. Which might be related to stak. They aren’t sure, but it would make sense considering they both have stand definitions.

TL;DR: What the hell stop words. I had hoped you would make sense. You disappoint me.

Tony Jebson’s page on the Origins of Old English

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

More Weird Searches

It’s been a few months since I’ve done this so why not?

I’m sensing a pattern here.

Because they’re morons.

Dude. Buddy. Pal. You need to set up your calendar alerts before the holiday.

I looked up despacito to see what it was and then saw it had to do with Justin Bieber and I deleted my history then burned my computer.

…Why is Caillou bald? Frig. This is going to keep me up all night.

Ever searched for anything  and had something  funny come up?

Saturday, June 17, 2017


Sometimes cats can sneak out of the house.
Just pretend that that window has always been there.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Language of Confusion: And Slowly

Well, I did fast. Might as well look at the other side of things. Although I had a harder time coming up with words related to moving slowly. Isn’t that weird?

Slow showed up as a verb in the mid sixteenth century, and as the adjective we more commonly know it as sometime before the thirteenth century. It comes from the Old English slaw, which means slow, and before that it was the Proto Germanic slaewaz. Nothing particularly surprising here. Let’s go look at some other words related to slowing down.

Inert showed up in the mid seventeenth century meaning without force or with no power to respond. It comes from the French inerte or the classical Latin inertem, which could mean unskilled,inactive, or indolent. It also happens to be a mix of the prefix in-, meaning “the opposite of” here, and ars, art. Inert is being the opposite of art.

Brake showed up in the mid fifteenth century as an “instrument for crushing or pounding”. Which…is that how car brakes work? Apparently the word used to be used to refer to the ring through the nose of an ox, and was influenced by an Old French word, brac/bras, an arm. The arm was a lever, which became a brake, which became a word for bridle or curb before becoming a “stopping device for a wheel” in 1772. Anyway, brake comes from the Middle Dutch braeke, flax break, related to breken, to break. And that’s related to break, just kind of distantly.

Slug is kind of a weird word. It’s a bug, a piece of metal, a punch…What the hell? Oh, and the word for the thing that slithers on the ground? It didn’t mean that until the eighteenth century. Three hundred years earlier it was a lazy person, coming from sluggard. That word comes from the Middle English sluggi, which in addition to being the most awesome possibility for a plural of slug meant sluggish or indolent, and is believed to be Scandinavian in origin, although no one’s sure exactly which word it might be from.

Speaking of lazy, that word showed up in the mid sixteenth century as laysy, referring to people who were, well, lazy. Before that…no one really knows. Some people think it’s from the word lay, some think it’s from a Germanic word, or maybe Norse…It just kind of showed up one day.

Tony Jebson’s page on the Origins of Old English

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Time Enough

I’ve talked about XKCD before, and how it’s not only the best stick figure comic of all time (it certainly puts mine to shame) but also one of the best comics period. And almost as if to prove why, creator Randall Munroe occasionally posts unique…well, they’re a lot more than comics. For example, there’s a long history of the temperatures of Earth, a gigantic scrollable comic, and a straight up hoverboard game.

One of the best, though, is Time, a comic that takes place over, well, time. Every thirty seconds, there was a change in the comic displayed, sometimes subtle, sometimes more major. There was something like a hundred in total, a comic book in its own right, gathered together here to click through one at a time, chronicling the story of a nameless man and woman first building a sandcastle, then going on a journey to discover what’s going on with the ocean near their village.

There’s a lot more going on than just that, and it’s honestly one of the more creative stories I’ve come across. It shows Earth during a different time period accurately, to the point where the stars displayed during the gorgeously rendered night scenes are accurate to the time period and the location.

Anyway, check it out if you’d like a little…I guess you’d classify it as some sort of speculative fiction? You’ll see.

Saturday, June 10, 2017


They say April showers bring May flowers. But I think they mean May showers. Also June showers. It never stops raining, is what I’m getting at.
Eh, what do I care? I never go outside anyway.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Language of Confusion: Speedy

This one’s for Liz, who last week mentioned she was wondering where the word fast came from. Just don’t expect an explanation that makes sense!

Speed comes from the Old English sped/spedan, which means success or prosperity. Actually, that’s what speed meant when it first showed up in English, too. It didn’t start meaning a rate of movement until the thirteenth century and it didn’t mean moving fast until the sixteenth century. Before it was sped, it was the Proto Germanic spodiz, and earlier the Proto Indo European spo-ti-, which is from the root word spe-, thrive or prosper. Speed didn’t even mean speed. How crazy is that?

In addition to having to do with speed, fast also means to not eat. So do you think those two words are related? Well, it doesn’t seem like it. Speed fast is somewhat uncertain in origin. It was in the lexicon by the thirteenth century and is likely from the Old Norse fast which could mean firmly as well as to be quick. That firmly definition is still in English (like, to hold fast to something) but it’s not used much anymore. It showed up in Old English as faest/faeste, stable, which is related to the word faestan, to fast. Or fortitude. The whole not eat thing is from the religious aspect of the word, which comes from the Proto Germanic fastan, hold fast or religious abstinence. So while I couldn’t find a definite connection between the words, the fact that the Old Norse version meant firmly makes it seem like it has to be related.

Quick comes from the Old English cwic, which…I’m not sure if that spelling makes more sense or less. Anyway, cwic used to mean alive, living, or animate. And the title “The Quick and the Dead” has just taken on new meaning for me. Anyway, it’s from the Proto Germanic kwikwaz, which can be traced back to the Proto Indo European gwei-, to live. I know I’ve mentioned that word before, although I’ll be damned if I can remember when. As for the whole fast aspect of the word, well, most corpses aren’t very quick, if you catch my drift.

Rapid showed up in the mid seventeenth century, fairly recently, probably from the modern French rapide, fast. It’s related to the classical Latin rapidus, rapid, and its verb form rapere, to carry off, plunder or… rape?! This…this took a very dark turn. Um, apparently the “carry off” part became “carry off quickly”, and so that’s how the word got its meaning. But now you’ll never be able to look at it the same way again.

Haste showed up in the late thirteenth century from the Old French haste, which is from Frankish haifst, violence. Now, Frankish is actually a Germanic language, and haifst comes from the Proto Germanic haifstiz, which I think has the same meaning. Apparently the violence part became the “need for quick action”, which then gave us haste. And fun fact, there’s an Old English word haest that means violent or fury and also comes from haifstiz, but is not where we get haste from. For some reason.

Tl;dr: Words relating to speed are surprisingly dark in origin and have nothing to do with speed.

Tony Jebson’s page on the Origins of Old English

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

June Goals

It’s June already?! But it’s still cold! And rainy! I’m telling you, it’s still April! Oh man. I did NOTHING this month…

May Goals
1. Write at least 5000 more words. I’d like to have more, but I also want to do some minor editing to make sure the whole thing is working right.
I didn’t manage to get all of it, only about three thousand words. All in the last week of the month. Yeah, it was not a productive month.

2. Check out some old projects and see if any of them are worth working on.
Did not do this. Maybe if one of them seemed exciting enough, but I’m just not feeling it.

3. Now that it’s warm enough, spring cleaning.
When I wrote this, it was actually warmer than it was now. And not raining all the time. Seriously, there’s been an hour of sun in the last week. Anyway, I was not able to do as much as I would have liked!

Welp, not awful, but not great either. I probably would have been more productive if I wasn’t so anxious all the time. Mostly about republicans trying to take away my healthcare. Anyway, this month.

June Goals
1. Get to 50K on my WIP (so about six thousand words).

2. Start organizing the outline for abovementioned WIP. This is actually pretty early for me.

3. Get to all the stuff this month that I didn’t do last month. If it ever stops raining!

That’s what I’m doing for June. What are you up to?

Saturday, June 3, 2017


Another true story.
Seriously, best waffles I ever had. Really pleased with how I screwed that up.

Totally Awesome Waffles Recipe
3 cups flour

2 tablespoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

½ cup sugar

1 ½ cup milk

2 eggs

4 tablespoons melted butter (but I used margarine)

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Language of Confusion: -Cuse

Excuse, accuse, recuse. While not the biggest suffix I’ve ever come across, I’d still like to know where they come from. You know, for funsies.

Excuse showed up in the mid thirteenth century as a verb and then a century later as a noun, both with basically the same meaning we know it as. They come from the Old French escuser, apologize, pardon, or exonerate. As usual, they come from the classical Latin excusare, to excuse. Nothing shocking here. But it’s put together from the prefix ex-, out, and causa, which looks like cause with an A. Because it is. And yes, this is where cause comes from. Anyway, it makes this word cause-out. Out-cause. I don’t know. Something.

Accuse showed up in the early fourteenth century meaning charge with an offense/error, impugn, or blame. So not far off. It’s from the Old French accuser, which meant to accuse but early meant report or disclose. Before that it was the classical Latin accusare, where it could mean accusation or charges. That word is actually from a phrase, ad causa, the cause, a mix of ad, with regard to, and the already introduced causa. So it’s “with regard to cause”, kind of fancy. Which makes sense since it was often a legal term.

Finally today, recuse. It’s the youngest one, having shown up in the late fourteenth century meaning to reject another’s authority as prejudiced. You can tell it’s another legal thing because of the fanciness. It’s from the Old French recuser and classical Latin recusare, refuse or object against. The re- means against, while causa…you know. I guess having cause against something is a way to refuse it.


Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Spam Bingo

Might as well end the month with this, since I totally misjudged when the last day of May was and didn’t have a post ready it’s in keeping with the theme of this month.
So close! I know I haven’t posted all of these here, but if you don’t believe me go ahead and look through the Spamfiles archive. They’re all there. Sometimes two or three times.

Just two more left. I’ve had someone call pretending to be someone I know asking for money (it’s that scam when someone calls pretending to be an underage relative in jail), but no emails. But I’m really disappointed that I haven’t received any impersonators that can be easily googled. How will I ever win the game?

And if you’d like some actual original contact, Cracked had another interesting article, this one about people using the names of actual people in the military to catfish women. I’ve gotten similar spam in the past several years, although asking for money, not trying to catfish me. This would definitely fall under the realm of pretending to be a real person you can easily google.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Sleeping With Cats

Another cat story because I seem to have a lot of them.
Of course the one who wants to sleep on me all the time is the big, hot, heavy one.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Language of Confusion: Mattress and Buttress

Several months ago, I did words that ended in -ress. Two I skipped were mattress and buttress, as they weren’t related to the others. So let’s look at them now! Because I have no other ideas.

Mattress is surprisingly old, having shown up in the late thirteenth century. It comes from the Old French materas, which comes from the Italian word materasso, just mattress. That’s the word that comes from Latin, in this case the Medieval Latin matracium, which in turn was taken from Arabic, where it was al-matrah, cushion. This is especially unusual because Latin prefers stealing its words from Greek.

Buttress first showed up in the early fourteenth century as a noun and the late fourteenth century as a verb. It comes from the Old French arc botrez, flying buttress. Not sure why it had to be flying, but there you go. It’s supposed to be from bouter, to thrust against, a Frankish word from the Proto Germanic butan, which in turn comes from the Proto Indo European bhau-, to strike. Which is the origin word for butt! But not the one that means your rear end. The one that’s part of head butt. Kind of disappointing, really.


Tuesday, May 23, 2017

From The Spamfiles

Might as well, seeing as that’s what the rest of the month has been about!

HOT girls! They’re on fire! Please send an ambulance!

She doesn’t want to be taken advantage of! So give her your social security number.

There is nothing more suspicious than Jennifer spelled with one N and two F’s.

The poor grammar is typical, but usually the cancer widows are better about spelling. She’s going to have to find someone else to distribute her money to keep it from her husband’s adorpted child.

I’m kind of afraid to find out what you’re supposed to do with that apple cider vinegar.

…Spam isn’t even pretending that it’s not directed at serial killers anymore.

Saturday, May 20, 2017


Another frigging update for Windows 10. Spoiler alert, it doesn’t remove the suck.

In all fairness, it wasn’t all terrible. I can scroll in large documents again. Except now for some reason, now the Number Lock won’t turn off so I can’t use the Home and End buttons there…but only when I’m online. In Word, it’s fine. But if I’m typing into an address bar and want to jump to the beginning, it just goes 77777. Unless I hold down the Control button.

It’s so stupid. Microsoft is unmaking Windows 10 one update at a time.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Language of Confusion: -Dur-

Seriously, dur. Because there are words like during and durable, but also endure. What the hell’s the deal with this word?

During, endure, durable, duration, duress,

During showed up in the late fourteenth century as durand, which was the present participle of the verb duren, which we don’t even use anymore. Duren meant to endure, so I guess that’s what replaced it, and it comes from the Old French durer and classical Latin durare, to last. Durare is related to durus, hard, which is from the Proto Indo European dru-ro- or deru, solid or steadfast. It’s the origin word for true. And tree.

Yeah. Words. Next, endure also showed up in the late fourteenth century coming from the Old French endure, which could mean harden, tolerate/bear, or maintain. It’s from the classical Latin indurare, harden. That word is a mix of in-, or in, as we know it as, and durus, which you should recognize from the previous paragraph.

The rest of the words are more dur- with different endings. Durable is another from the late fourteenth century from the Old French durable and classical Latin durabilis, also durable. It’s basically just duras with a different ending, like durable is during with a different ending. Duration is almost exactly the same origin. Fourteenth century, Old French duration, which came to us from the Latin durare via the Medieval Latin durationem (so that’s where we got the -tion part). Finally, duress. Also fourteenth century, Old French duresse, classical Latin duritia, hardness, and obviously that’s from duras.

And that’s the -dur words. Durr.


Tuesday, May 16, 2017


Yes, another entry in what is coincidentally becoming spam month. I got this last week and it was too outlandish not to share right away.

Harsh, right? I honestly thought at first that it was in my spam folder in error, except… there’s something off about it, even beyond the crazy ranting. There’s the fact that they call me by my email address, which, come on, who does that? And it’s so non-specific. Just that I’ve pissed this obvious lunatic off somehow. And apparently so did my sister? Which is even weirder.

Not that she pissed someone off to this level. That I believe. But I’ve mentioned having a sister very, very few times and she doesn’t even have that email address, so there’s no connection there. Like I said, the whole thing is off.

I was suspicious enough about it that I googled first the name (no results) and then the web domain. That got something. Some guy was talking about receiving an almost identical message, including the mention of the sister. It got him in a lot of trouble with his girlfriend, who thought he was cheating on her. Do they just send these out to everyone in hopes that they have a sister? Because there are plenty of people without one.

Then a few days ago I got another one:

Different email address and mostly different name, except for the EJ. The diction is so weird! “I do not know why”, “It does not mean anything” “Have you not heard of hook up?”. Which, by the way, makes this even more preposterous. Perhaps that was the point. Antagonize me until I reveal personal information to disprove that I’m the person they’re looking for. Someone should inform them that I don’t bother arguing with crazy.

Have any of you ever received any spam like this? Any thoughts as to what the point of this thing was?

Saturday, May 13, 2017


My mom is the worst person to shop for. I had it easy the previous few years because I just kept getting her Hunger Games movies, but unfortunately the series finally came to a close. Now I have to think up something else.
Maybe driving me crazy is her present.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Language of Confusion: Ire

This word is prolific. Surprisingly so.

Ire showed up in the fourteenth century and comes from the Old French ire, which means ire. Stop me if I’m going too fast. Before that it was the classical Latin ira, which…yeah, means wrath, so no big leaps here. Ire can be traced all the way back to the Proto Indo European word eis-, which is, like, everywhere. And don’t go thinking that the name Ira is related, because it’s not. The name Jerome is, though!

Also related is irate. It’s way recent, having shown up in 1838, making it less than two hundred years old. It comes from the classical Latin iratus, angry, which of course comes from the above mentioned ira. Other words that are in this family include irascible, which showed up in the late fourteenth century from the Old French irascible and Late Latin irascibilis and classical Latin irasci, also a word for angry and also from ira.

But let’s look back at eis-. It’s also the origin word for the Greek hieros, sacred, which spawned hieroglyphikos, the word that gave us hieroglyph. Also related is hierarchy, which showed up in the late fourteenth century as jerarchie/ierarchie (yes, a J, but I assume it was pronounced as a Y here). It’s from the Old French ierarchie and Medieval Latin hierarchia, the ranked division of angels. And I assume that you’ve figured out that hierarchia comes from hiero.


Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Spam From The Other Side

And by the other side, I mean from the spammer’s point of view. I found this article on the Cracked website that’s an interview with one of the Nigerian spammers who writes the stuff I so frequently post here.

It’s kind of interesting to see why they do what they do and how the police pretty much let them get away with it in exchange for bribes. Also their word for their marks is “maga”, which means dunce. When I found that out, I laughed so hard I cried a little.

Unfortunately, now that Americans are more informed about their scams, the spammers are turning their attention towards other, poorer countries and wiping out peoples’ life savings with a single email. It certainly erases all the amusement of the maga thing.

Anyway, it was an interesting read. And because it wouldn’t be a spam post without spam: