Sunday, December 3, 2017

Freebooting (v.) - It’s like piracy + advertising

d

Have you ever needed a word, but couldn’t find one that sufficiently describes the idea you’re trying to get across?
Well you could always do what Brady Haran from the Hello Internet podcast did...

Repurpose an old underused word, like freebooting.

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Hello Internet Episode 5: https://youtu.be/-j-tCHzjam4
Hello Internet Episode 5: http://www.hellointernet.fm/podcast/5
Smarter Everyday: https://youtu.be/L6A1Lt0kvMA

CGP Grey: https://www.youtube.com/user/CGPGrey
Smarter Everyday: https://www.youtube.com/user/destinws2
Numberphile: https://www.youtube.com/user/numberphile
Periodic Videos: https://www.youtube.com/user/periodicvideos
Hello Internet: https://www.youtube.com/user/HelloInternetPodcast
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Definition:


Freeboot

verb
To use the content of another creator, without their permission, in such a way that it bypasses their revenue source and replace it with your own.

Also in the 16th century it referred to piracy.

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History & Etymology:


Originally a borrowing from Dutch vrijbuiter in the 1570s, meaning lawless adventure, pirate, or plunderer. This is also the word we derive the word booty for treasure. A French word that meant the something similar also found its way into the English language “filibuster” and was repurposed to mean something almost completely different. (I’ll definitely cover that word in the future.) The word has fallen out of regular use to refer to acts of traditional piracy. 

On February 26th, 2014 Brady Haran from the Numberphile channel and CGP Grey another educational YouTuber released the fifth episode of their podcast Hello Internet. Brady didn’t like using the word piracy or infringement to describe when a newspaper re-uploads his videos on their servers serving their ads with none of the revenue going to him. Brady introduced the possibility of using the older word freebooting. Here’s a clip I’ve “freebooted” from the podcast.

Clip https://youtu.be/-j-tCHzjam4?t=14m

But really I don’t want to cost them any revenue so please go check out their channels and podcast. Links are in the description.

Almost a year later on January 19th 2015 Destin from Smarter Every Day released a video called Facebook Freebooting. Where he discusses a portion of one of his videos that use freebooted on a verified Facebook page.
This video pretty much ensconced this new meaning for the word freebooting in internet culture. I’ve put a link to Destins video in the description.

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Sources:
https://youtu.be/-j-tCHzjam4
http://www.hellointernet.fm/podcast/5
https://youtu.be/L6A1Lt0kvMA
https://www.etymonline.com/word/freebooter
https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/freebooter
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Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Gender (n.) - How many genders are there?



Gender
What is it? How many are there? Why does it matter? And who caused this mess?
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Laci Green's gender video: https://youtu.be/t8S4hMjFTSI
Computerphile Binary video: https://youtu.be/thrx3SBEpL8?t=6m15s
-------------------------------------
Definition

Gender

noun
A class or grouping of grammatical words in a language. English has no grammatical gender, but does have three gendered pronouns he, she, and it.

It is also used interchangeably with sex.

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History & Etymology:
We’re going to start back with the Proto-Indo-European root gene- which meant “to give birth or beget” This initial relationship with birthing would seem to imply a very close tie to sex and genitals in the development of the word gender, but even to my surprise, that wasn’t the case. 

Instead of taking a route through separating men and women by their intimate bits, it became the word genus which still means the same thing today, “race, stock, family, order or species.” It became a word that sorts things into any number of groups.

As Latin word moved in to Vulgar or Popular Latin changed and that became Old French genus became genre, another word that moved directly into english that differentiates groups of things. Due to a quirk of Old french another variant of this word came about gendre.

And as many words it finally came into english during the norman invasion of england, and became gender. At this time it was used purely in reference to grammatical classes of words, and it remained this way till late in the 20th century. 

In 1955 sexologist John Money introduced the confusion we’re running into today. Before his work it was uncommon at best for the word gender to refer to biological sex. Moneys usage of the word gender as interchangeable with sex didn’t catch on until the 1970s, when feminists in academia embraced his text book Man & Woman, Boy & Girl. With academias acceptance of this usage of the word gender it was only a matter of time before it would cause confusion relating to biological sex.
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Sources:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sex_and_gender_distinction#History_2
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gender
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Money
https://www.etymonline.com/word/gender
https://youtu.be/t8S4hMjFTSI
https://youtu.be/thrx3SBEpL8
https://youtu.be/9edtHJMaws0
http://www.oed.com/view/Entry/77468
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grammatical_gender
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gender#Etymology_and_usage
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_languages_by_type_of_grammatical_genders
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tuyuca_language
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Thursday, November 23, 2017

Patron (n.) - Become a Patron!



Contribute:
BitCoin: 1LSD7TgLcYrhqTrdUCmtwvk4UtusL5PDv1

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Definition:

Patron

Noun
A person who provides money or other assistance to an artist, writer, charity, cause or in my case an independent content creator.

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History and Etymology

Before we go on, I’d like to thank my own patrons over on patreon.com. The word patron was nominated and selected by Mark Sperring my first patron. If you’re interested in becoming a patron please follow the link in the description.

The history of the word patron goes all the way back to the Latin word pater meaning father. As the legends go Romulus, founder of Rome selected 100 fathers of influential families to form the senate and in the same stroke creating a class system. From pater the romans derived the word Patronus, which means protector or guardian. You probably recognize that word from Harry Potter where it refers to spirit that can be summoned to protect the caster, but in Rome a real Patronus was a person that had a responsibility towards their cliens. The relationship of patronus to cliens was usually between someone of a higher class to someone in a lower class or between a freed slave and his former master. This relationship would go both ways. The Patronus would be expected to provide financial support for his cliens, and the cliens would be required to provide services such as political campaigning and physical labor.


Into the medieval and renaissance period in france and other European countries this become the system of patronage. Rulers, nobles, and very wealthy people would support artists to bolster their own political ambitions, social positions or prestige. This wasn’t limited to artist, patrons would also support early science, writers, alchemist, astrologers, scholars, and many other professions. Over time this system continued though the funds were provided through different sources ranging from the church, charitable foundations, and governments.


The word patron and the system of patronage found it’s way into english both through French patron and Latin patronus, and maintained it’s meaning.



Samuel Johnson the writer of the first comprehensive English dictionary added some humor to some of the entries in his dictionary. Some of them made his opinions very clear. He didn’t always get along with his patrons who were supporting his dictionary projecting.

His definition for patron went as follows: One who countenances, supports or protects. Commonly a wretch who supports with insolence, and is paid with flattery.



And today in this new world of social media and independent content creators patronage has transformed. No longer is it solely the domain of the elites and the wealthy. Thanks to technology patronage has become distributed, and anyone can help support the content, science, arts, music and more, that they love.

Websites like Patreon, Kickstarter, IndieGoGo, and PayPal have made it possible for large numbers of regular people to individually contribute a small amount of money. When those small individual contribution come together it can be enough to support an artist, musician, independent content creator, charities, or even a lexicographer.

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Sources:


Friday, November 17, 2017

Embiggen (v.) Cromulent (a.) - The Simpsons have changed our language



Embiggen

Verb
To make larger.

Cromulent

Adjective
Staggeringly adequate and suitable.

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BitCoin: 1LSD7TgLcYrhqTrdUCmtwvk4UtusL5PDv1

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History & Etymology

Both of these words are neologisms, words that were created recently. In the case of embiggen and cromulent they both were introduced to the public on February 18, 1996 on a episode of the Simpsons. The episode was titled “Lisa The Iconoclast” and in one scene all of the students are gathered in the gymnasium watching an educational film about the history of Springfield.

[Simpsons clip]

The show runners had asked the writers to invent words that sounded like they were real but were completely made up, and embiggen and cromulent were the results.

As it turns out they only half succeeded in their goal of creating two new words. Embiggen had already been used once in 1884 in a British publication. This really isn’t that surprising. They may not have realized it but when they were creating embiggen they were following well established rule in the english language. You probably know these rules instinctively yourself.

It's a simple matter of adding a prefix and a suffix.

The prefix em-, a variant of the en- prefix when it comes before P or a B, makes the word it's attached to into a verb. And the suffix -en which when attached to a verb denotes is happening in the present or immediacy. Using these rules your mind can, almost without thinking about it, determine the meaning of embiggen.

This is a very common way people create new words everyday.

Cromulent, on the other hand, is far less rules based. The suffix -ulent seems to be an arbitrary borrowing from words adopted from Latin, and crom is literally a nonsense word with no previous meaning.

To determine the meaning of cromulent it takes a bit more thought, by looking at the context in which is used. The first instance of it's use, “it's a perfectly cromulent word,” would indicate a meaning similar to acceptable. The second usage, “He's embiggened that role with his cromulent performance,” implies that the object described as cromulent enhanced something. Which is more than I would expect from something that was merely adequate.  That’s the reason I modified my definition from the one usually given for cromulent, and added staggeringly.


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Resources:
http://0-www.oed.com.catalog.multcolib.org/view/Entry/60686?rskey=AZD8u1&result=4#eid
http://0-www.oed.com.catalog.multcolib.org/view/Entry/61505?rskey=FHBHYf&result=8#eid
http://0-www.oed.com.catalog.multcolib.org/view/Entry/61499#eid5551343
http://simpsons.wikia.com/wiki/Lisa_the_Iconoclast

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Flower (n.) - Photos from The Butchart Gardens



Flower

Noun
The reproductive portion of a plant. Usually brightly colored and aromatic to attract various insects to spread assist in the plants reproductive process.


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History & Etymology

The history of the word flower is traced back to the Proto-Indo-European word bhel- meaning to thrive or bloom. The meaning of the word Hasn’t changed much since then.  It has made it’s way through latin as florem, meaning flower, and as Popular Latin changed overtime into Old French it dropped the -em and became flor, which became the Modern French Fleur. The modern english word comes from the Old French word and became Flower, the word we have today.


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Prescription

The word flower doesn’t have a very interesting history, but they are very pretty to look at. This last summer I visited the Butchart Gardens on Vancouver Island Canada, and it was one of the most beautiful places I have ever been.  As you can see from the background of this video I’m one of those annoying tourist that takes a picture of everything. One of my favorite subjects for photography is flowers. So please enjoy the slideshow.


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Resources:
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Saturday, November 4, 2017

Guy (n.) - Remember, remember the 5th of November

Guy

Noun
Man or fellow

When used in plural it may refer to a group of people regardless of sex.

History & Etymology

“ Remember, remember!
The fifth of November,The Gunpowder treason and plot;I know of no reasonWhy the Gunpowder treasonShould ever be forgot!Guy Fawkes and his companionsDid the scheme contrive,To blow the King and ParliamentAll up alive.”-The Fifth of November
That was V from V for Vendetta quoting a portion of a rhyme that commemorates the arrest Guido Fawkes the namesake of the mask he wears. The poem describes the events of November 5th 1605 when Guido, usually referred to as Guy Fawkes, was captured and arrested while actively attempting to assassinate King James I and destroy the parlement.
Guy Fawkes was a member of a group of Provincial English Catholics whose goal was to assassinate King James I, and instal a Catholic monarch in England.
You see relations between protestants and Catholics at that time, well saying they weren’t great would be an understatement; Catholics were being persecuted. When James King of Scotland became King of England after the union of the Scottish and English crowns there were hopes that he, being a moderate towards the catholic church, would put the kibosh on the persecution of Catholics. When there were no signs that this was occurring, Guy Fawkes and his companions took it upon themselves to do something about it.
Guy Fawkes and his companions, lead by Robert Catesby, attempted to execute their plot on November 5th 1605. Collecting wood and gunpowder beneath the House of Lords. That night Guy Fawkes was assigned to guard the explosives, and that’s where he caught and arrested.
Now every November 5th the people of Great Britain go out, light bonfires, shoot fireworks, and burn effigies of Guy Fawkes to celebrate. Over the years these effigies have been grotesque and ugly, and the Oxford English Dictionary sites the Guy Fawkes effigies as the initial definition of the word guy. Guy eventually became an insult, referring to people with a grotesque appearance in 1836. At this time the word was gender neutral and could be used to refer to men and women.
Men are often more willing to make fun of their own appearance and started using the word guy in a self deprecating fashion to refer to themselves and other men. When children learning english for the first time from their parents here their fathers and other men refer to each other as guys without being taken as an insult, they just assume it’s another word used to refer to a man or a mixed group of people.


Prescription


From time to time I’ll hear some say that guy is a gendered term and we should avoid using it to refer to a group of men and women. I can kind of understand this sentiment, as the word is generally used to refer to men when used in the singular. With that in mind I really don’t mind if someone chooses to avoid using the word guy in that way.
But when considering the words gender neutral history and usage there is really no reason for the plural usage referring to both men and women to be forbidden. If you really wanted to restrict the usage of the word guy it would make more sense to ban it outright considering its history as an insult, but that since of the word is so obsolete it’s almost completely forgotten.
This is where the spontaneously ordered nature of human language will resolve the issue of the gendered use of guy for us. If enough children grow up with parents that choose to avoid using the word guy in a gender neutral sense eventually the word will only refer to men, but if enough people keep using the word to refer to mixed groups of people guy will maintain its current definition.
It’s all really all up to the children.
Resources:
http://oed.comhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guy_Fawkeshttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gunpowder_Plothttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guy_Fawkes_Nighthttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_VI_and_Ihttp://www.imdb.com/title/tt0434409/https://www.thegreatcourses.com/courses/language-a-to-z.html

Friday, October 20, 2017

Bias (n.)(a.) - How do you roll?





Bias

Noun
A tendency, trend, or inclination usually unreasoned, for or against something or someone.

Biased

Adjective
Having a tendency or inclination for or against something.
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History & Etymology

In the 14th century bias entered english as an adjective describing a slant or oblique angle. This usage came from Old French Biais. The origin of this word is unknown but it has cognates in other european languages including in Catalan, and Italian.

Bias became a technical term in the sport of Lawn Bowling in the 1560s to refer to the side of the bowl that is heavier. Making one side of the ball heavier caused its path to either lean or hook in the direction of the bias.

In the 1570s an obvious analogy was made between the weighted bowls and the heads of people with an undue prejudice or propensity for one side or another in law proceedings. This is where we get the current meaning of the word bias.
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Sources
http://www.etymonline.com/word/bias
http://www.dictionary.com/browse/bias
http://johnsonsdictionaryonline.com/?p=2488
http://www.oed.com
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCyRw8JCvSmuiAPP-A3a5cOg
Fox News
CNN
MSNBC

Thursday, October 19, 2017

DISGUSTING!(a.)(n.) - You won’t believe this!



Disgust
noun

A feeling of strong distaste or indignation.

Disgusting
adjective

Causing a feeling of strong distaste or indignation.
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History & Etymology

The word disgust either comes from the Old French desgouster, or Italian disgustare. The french probably adopted their word from the Italian one, but further back it originated from Latin gustare meaning taste plus the prefix des- which still mean the same thing as the english prefix dis-. So ultimately it comes from the latin word for distaste.
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Prescription

Scrolling through my YouTube subscriptions today I saw the title of Philly Ds daily video, and the first word was Disgusting (exclamation point). Since it was initially a brief glimpse I didn’t see the rest of the title, but I immediately thought, “that really got my attention.” 

Disgust is a strong word, and it really grabs people's attention. It’s a word that almost demands a visceral reaction from people.
The story Philip was discussing was a truly disgusting incidence and deserved the title, but I still could help but think to myself that the word choice and all caps was a bit of click bait.

I’m trying the same thing now with this video, the title and the thumbnail. I was trying to grab your attention. 

I love Philip DeFrancos news coverage, and I love what he’s doing, and shocking titles are a great way to draw attention to important stories. 
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Sources:

Monday, October 16, 2017

Shtick (n.) - My shtick is reading the dictionary.


Shtick
Noun

A unique style of act or performance, usually associated with a particular performer.

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History & Etymology

Shtick came into english from Yiddish, a language spoken by Ashkenazi Jews in Germany, and originated in the 9th century. Shtick was adopted from the Old High German stucki, which eventually became stock in modern english.

Shtick got it’s meaning from when you have a stock of some item you know you can always go to that stock and retrieve the same item over and over. When the word became applied to performance it literally meant you could return to a particular performer for a particular type of entertainment.

Prescription

My shtick is reading the dictionary on video. Admittedly it’s not a very good shtick, but I enjoy it. A shtick isn’t necessarily a bad thing. For years I had a negative association with the word shtick that generally indicated that the performer was lazy and couldn’t do anything original. Now I don’t think it’s really a bad thing to reuse the same theme or even the same content. It allows a performer to hone that act and become excellent at it.

Sources
https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/shtick
http://www.etymonline.com/word/shtick
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yiddish
http://www.etymonline.com/word/stock
http://www.oed.com

Friday, October 13, 2017

Goodbye (i.) - God be with ye


Goodbye
Interjection

An expression of good wishes while parting company with someone.

Sources:
http://www.etymonline.com/word/good-bye
http://www.oed.com

Protest (n.)(v.) - What do you stand for?


Protest

Noun
A formal statement or gesture of objection or approval, especially by a group.

Verb
To make a strong declaration either for or against a position.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Tree (n.)

Tree
Noun
A tall plant with a single stalk or trunk and branches protruding horizontally some distance from the ground.
Also refers to things with a similar structure including, charts, crosses, family trees, ect

Monday, September 25, 2017

Censorship (n.) Censor (n.) - Are we being censored?


Censor
Noun
Someone who attempts to moderate and supervise morals, conduct, and content, usually with official approval.

Censorship
Noun
The act of behaving like a censor.

Censored YouTube videos: https://www.reddit.com/r/YoutubeLimited/

History & Etymology

The word censor comes from the name of a position in the Roman government whose job it was to take census data, and enforce the moral code dictated by the government of Rome.

The duties of a Roman censor were three fold:

Performing the census, registering and collecting information about the citizens of Rome. This is where we get the word census from.
Regimen Morum, the enforcement of public morality dictated by the roman government, and
The administration of state finances, and the development of state buildings and public work projects.

Number 2 is where we get the definition of the word censor and censorship. The Roman censors had several tools for enforcing the moral code of the roman state.  The most common were degrading Roman citizens, branding, and fines. Degrading only meant to lower the social status of some one.
For example there was a class of people called Equestrians who were granted state funded horses, and these people could be degraded and have that privilege taken from them. Censorship didn’t necessarily mean removal of citizenship.

This made the position of Censor a feared and coveted position in Rome.

Prescription

In 1914 the oxford english dictionary records an early use of the word censor to refer to an official who checks private correspondence during war time for any information that might compromise any war efforts.

This use of the word referring to someone that redacts information from a letter is where we get the idea that censorship is only when content is completely or partially removed. I don’t think this is really the only way in which the word censorship could be used. A lot of dictionaries I checked didn’t define censor as removal of content. They generally referred to suppressing content.

After investigating where the word actually comes from I believe the word censorship can be applied much more broadly.

What’s happening with Google, YouTube and other large tech companies I believe falls squarely under the definition of censorship.

Just as the Roman government provided privileges to it’s citizen, so does YouTube, and other services, and they can take away some of those privileges, if you don’t abide by their moral standards.

When a video is put into a limited state, the “SandBox”, that’s similar to having your horse and other privileges if you were a roman in the equestrian class.

And having your content demonetize would be analogous to being degraded, and having your rank stripped from you.

They may not be forcing you or your content off the platform, but they are still censoring you. You’re being encouraged to conform to someone else's moral code.

What Google, Facebook and other big tech companies are doing is censorship. At least by my definition.

Sources:
http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=censor
https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/censor
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roman_censor
http://OED.com
http://www.unrv.com
https://www.reddit.com/r/YoutubeLimited/

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Peace (n.)(i.) - Can't we all just get along!


Peace
Noun
Freedom from disturbance, threat, or violence in mental, personal or national life.

Interjection
Farewell, or goodbye. Sometimes combined with “out” to form Peace Out.


Walter Williams Lecture: https://youtu.be/zT7dN4tNzvg
3 Minute Rule by the Beastie Boys: https://youtu.be/T-NgyuNAM7U

History & Etymology


The word peace entered into the english language from the Anglo-Norman Pes(pronounced peace) during the norman conquest of england in the 11th century.

The word seems to have originally entered the language as a greeting. Peace was used to translate the hebrew greeting shalom which means peace. Eventually it moved away from use as a greeting and completely replaced the word “frith” the original middle-english word for peace.

In the late 1960s and 70s the word peace returned to common use as farewell greeting, similar to it’s original use as a translation of Shalom.

And in 1988 the Oxford English Dictionary records the combination of Peace Out as a farewell in the lyrics of “the 3 minute rule” by the Beastie Boys.

This formation of Peace Out likely comes from the usage from the 60s combined with a technological addition reminiscent of Over and Out in use by radio operators.

I’ve been having trouble coming up with a really good commentary for what the word peace mean and how it should be used. After some thought and looking through other definition and discussions. I realized something very important about peace.

Peace is generally a word for an external state of being among people. It doesn’t include thoughts, feelings, or beliefs. This means that peace can be achieved even while hate, fear and disgust still abound.

You don’t have to like someone to live peacefully with someone else. In fact you could hate someone and still live with them. I’ve got a clip from a lecture by my favorite economist Walter Williams where he describes who this can come about.

https://youtu.be/zT7dN4tNzvg

But if self interest and greed can bring about a peaceful situation, as in that example, that means that peace doesn’t necessarily come from understanding and acceptance. I think a lot of times when people use the word peace they conflate it with the saying ‘peace and harmony’. Some people seem to believe we can’t live peacefully unless we all hold the same beliefs and values. I think we need to change this usage.

Peace is achievable but we can’t do it by changing the minds of others. The moment we try and impose our values, by threat or force, we are no longer being peaceful and we’ve become part of the problem. We don’t have to accept people to live peacefully with people.

The same holds true for international relations. We’re at peace with the countries we do a lot of trade with, European countries, China, and Japan, but the countries we try and bring our values to, the countries we try and impose western democracy on, are the countries we’re stuck fighting in. We have spoiled any chance of peace in these places while we’re still trying to help them.

The more we spend time improving ourselves and the less time we spend trying to improve others without their permission the more peaceful this world will become.

Resources
https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/peace
http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=peace
http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=peace&allowed_in_frame=0
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peace
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shalom
Strongs Concordance
https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/frith#Middle_English
http://www.anglo-norman.net/gate/
http://oed.com
https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/peace_out
https://youtu.be/zT7dN4tNzvg
https://youtu.be/T-NgyuNAM7U

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Subscribe (v.) - Do it now!


Subscribe
Verb
To agree to receive communications or access a service, sometimes in exchange for a regular fee.

History & Etymology

Originally from classical Latin subscribere a compound of Sub meaning under and scribe meaning write, to write under.

So subscribe literally means to sign at the bottom of a document.

But you don’t even have to sign anything, now all you have to do is click a button.

Prescription

If you’ve found this quick exploration of the word subscribe interesting, you should do just that subscribe to this channel.

Because that’s what I do. I explore the definition, origins, and current usage of english words.
In this case there is no fee involved just press the button and Subscribe.

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Dictionary (n.) - I have no idea what I'm doing!


Dictionary
Noun

A book, document, or database containing lists of words and associated information usually in alphabetical order.


Resources:
https://www.merriam-webster.com
http://dictionary.cambridge.org/us
https://en.oxforddictionaries.com
https://en.wiktionary.org
http://johnsonsdictionaryonline.com
http://www.urbandictionary.com
http://www.oed.com
http://www.library.utoronto.ca/utel/ret/cawdrey/cawdrey0.html
https://corpus.byu.edu/coca/
https://corpus.byu.edu/coha/

History and Etymology

Derived from the Latin dictionarius meaning wordbook or collection of phrases.

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the word dictionarius was first used in english, as the title of a textbook on Latin composition by a teacher named John of Garland in the 13th century.

In the 16th century early Dictionaries began appearing containing lists of words and their translations into other languages or dialects. Initially these dictionaries where english to latin, and later for modern languages.Translation dictionaries did exist before this but went by different names.

In the 17th century the word dictionary was applied to books that contained lists of “Hard Words” and their explanations. The earliest printed dictionary of hard words was Robert Cawdrey's Table Alphabeticall of 1604.

In 1755 Samuel Johnson published the first comprehensive dictionary of the English Language.

Descriptivism vs. Prescriptivism

When Samuel Johnson set out on his quest to create an authoritative dictionary he made a mistake many many people make these days. Samuel Johnson was trying to prescribe the english language, trying to set it instone and control what words meant. This is called prescriptivism.

But by the end of his eight year project of writing his dictionary Johnson had changed his mind. The meanings of words couldn’t always be nailed down. He changed his focus from prescribing what English should be to describing what English is. This is called descriptivism.

That’s primarily what I want to do with my video dictionary describe how words are being used.  Sometimes I’ll cover words that are mundane, like the days of the week or colors, because I find their histories or etymologies interesting.

But other times more controversial words will catch my attention. Liberal, conservative, fascist, capitalism socialism.

The definition provided at the beginning of each entry are written by me, based on a combination of observation of current usage, historical usage, and information gathered from other sources.

In the history and etymology section I describe how the word came to be in the english language, descriptions of how the word and it’s meaning has changed, and any interesting trivia I have come across about the word.

and the last section of each entry will be a commentary on how I see the word being used or misused, by those in public discourse, the mainstream, and alternative media.

I’m also interesting in including words that may not have made it into a traditional dictionary due to its obscurity or the ever changing nature of internet culture.


Sources
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samuel_Johnson#A_Dictionary_of_the_English_Language
http://www.oed.com/view/Entry/52325
http://johnsonsdictionaryonline.com/?page_id=8
http://johnsonsdictionaryonline.com/?p=1420

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Beach (n.) - Rocks can be a real beach!


Beach
Noun
Where the waves from a body of water meet the land, especially where there is sand, pebbles, gravel, or shells.

Bonus Link: http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=beach

History & Etymology

Researching the Etymology of the word beach was interesting. The OED entry says it hasn’t been fully updated in over 100 years, and I’m not a big fan of relying on a wiki for information. I’ve tried to bring all of the explanations I’ve come across into an interesting story, but that’s about all it is so take it with a grain of salt and enjoy. The history of the word probably went something like this.

The old english word “bache” referred to the land a stream or creek ran through. Because a lot of streams and creeks are lined with stones, over time the word came to refer to those rocks made smooth by the running water. In some places the word beach still refers to stones smoothed by water.

Eventually the a changed to an ea,the e was dropped from the end, and it became the word we know today. Beach.

When someone would say, “I’m going for a walk on the beach” they actually meant, “I’m going for a walk on the smooth stones.”

After years of usage like the example I just gave the meaning was transformed into the definition we have today.


Sources:
Example usage from PewDiePie: https://youtu.be/2mIDI-Y24Ns
https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/beach
http://www.oed.com
http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?allowed_in_frame=0&search=beach

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Bigot (n.) - You're probably a bigot.


Bigot
Noun

A person who can’t stand the
idea of others holding beliefs
different than their own.


History and Etymology


Originally meaning someone who stubbornly holds to religious beliefs or is a religious hypocrite.

The Oxford English Dictionary records the word coming from middle french in the 15th century. Possibly deriving from a phrase like “by God” in an early Germanic language. Though there is no direct evidence for this.

After the 1680s the definition of bigot began to expand beyond religious views, and grew to include anyone who obstinately, and unreasonably holds to views and beliefs to the detriment of those around them.

Description

How I see the word in modern use.

Usually when I hear the word bigot used it’s being used to shut down a conversation, and dismiss people out of hand.

If you call someone a bigot you don’t actually have to address their concerns or ideas, because you’ve already decided in your mind that they are unreasonable and won’t listen.

This usage actually tells you more about the people that use the word bigot this way. What it’s telling me is that they are being intolerant and can’t stand that the people that they are shutting down have a different opinion than them. They prove that they are the bigot.

Prescription

How I think the word should be used.

The word bigot should never be used in conversation with the person you are applying it to. It shuts down the conversation, and ends all possibility of making a connection or changing the person's mind.

If you must use the word bigot make sure you are not being one yourself. What do you really have to be afraid of listening to people with ideas different than yours. Are you afraid that they might convince and you’ll have to give up the position you’re holding to so strongly? Are you so weak in your position that you can’t back it up?

Don’t become the thing you hate.

Sources:
http://www.oed.com/