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.

Sources

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

Lies

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.

Sources

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Spam?

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

Presents

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.

Sources