My Perfect Assassin’s Creed Game

Alright, this should be my last Assassin’s Creed (AC) post for a while. Should as in I don’t have any other ones planned.

We’re five months out from Valhalla‘s release date, and the rumor mill is working overtime on “leaks” and theories of varying degrees of believability for the next entry in the series. While I have precisely zero insight into the next AC game, I do have several — *cough* many *cough* — ideas about what I’d like to see in a future game.

And so, I give you the elements that would make up my perfect AC game. Be aware, this post doesn’t take into account the likelihood of any of this actually happening.

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Gone, but not Forgotten

I came across a post a while ago that listed some archaic/disused words in the English language. Some of them were awesome! So I went looking for more. Here are some no-longer-used English words that I propose we bring back into common use.

Overmorrow: (on) the day after tomorrow.
Example: “I’ll clean my room overmorrow.” 

Ereyesterday: (on) the day before yesterday.
Example: I’m still thinking about the concert I went to ereyesterday.

Bedward: heading toward bed.
Example: It’s late, I’m bedward.

Crapulous: sick from excessive indulgence in food or liquor.
Example: I had the munchies and now I’m feeling crapulous.
(Note, depending on the source, this may or may not apply to excessive indulgence in food. It 100% applies to excessive indulgence in liquor. But we already have ‘hangover’ for that, so crapulous, in my opinion, should apply to overeating.)

Sciolist: a person who pretends to be knowledgeable.
Example: It is inadvisable for a sciolist to attend a conference with masters of the field as their charade will be uncovered.
(Note: Sciolism [a superficial show of learning] is still a modern English word, so I find it odd that sciolist is rarely, if ever, used.)

Fudgel: Pretending to work when you’re not actually doing anything at all.
Example: My privacy screen protector really improved my ability to get away with fudgeling.
(Note: Despite fudgel coming up on numerous archaic word lists, it’s not in any of the dictionaries online. Your guess is as good as mine as to whether this is a real 18th century word or something entirely fabricated.)

Do you know any archaic words that should be brought back into common use? Let me know in the comments!

Necronyms

This post is a cross between genealogy research and random thoughts. As I’ve been delving back into my genealogy research, I’ve come across an increasing amount of uses of necronyms.

For those unfamiliar with the term, a necronym is a reference to, or name of, a person who has died. In this case, I’m referring to naming a child after a dead sibling. Thinking in terms of modern-day expectations, necronyms seem a little insensitive, almost like parents are simply replacing their child. However, I found reference in one of the articles I read to naming conventions and traditions. For example, there were traditions that dictated parents name their eldest son after his paternal grandfather. So if that son were to die, the next son born would be given the same name. 

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Genealogy Terminology

I’ve started working on my ancestry research again. I’m currently researching the Dutch side of my family right now.

It’s been a year or two since I researched that branch. While I remembered some of the terminology used on official documents, I’d forgotten some, too. And, of course, I’ve come across some new terms as well.

Google Translate is great, but it only goes so far. Sometimes, it even gives you translations that are obviously, and hilariously, wrong. For example:

Translation exampleFor the record, the highlighted portions should be “Sheriff &” and “appeared” (as in, appeared before me) respectively.

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Ampersand -or- And Per Se And

I’ve got a fun little nugget of information for you today, a combination of #WednesdayWisdom and #WritingWednesday. If you’ve ever been curious about the ampersand (&), keep reading. 🙂

various versions of the ampersandThe symbol existed long before the name. It was a ligature of the Latin word “et”, meaning “and”. This is where the Et looking ampersands come from. It’s also why you’ll sometimes see etc. written as &c.

The name come from the 19th century when “&” was often included as the 27th letter of the alphabet. When children recited the alphabet, it was awkward to finish with “X, Y, Z, and”.

So the ending of the alphabet recitation was changed to ‘X, Y, Z, and per se and”, meaning “and, by itself, and” or that the “&” was a word on its own.

Over time, “and per se and” was slurred together to form the mondegreen “ampersand”.

It’s uncertain precisely when or why the ampersand was dropped from the alphabet, but it may very likely have been related to the modern alphabet song. You know, the one set to the tune of “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.” It was copyrighted in 1835, and, as we all know, omitted the ampersand from the recitation. It was around this time that including the ampersand in the alphabet fell out of favor.

Bonus!

While I was researching the ampersand, I came across some interesting information about “ye olde”. In middle English, there existed a “letter” known as thorn. It looked kind of like a “p”. But over the years, it evolved to become almost indistinguishable from “y”. This meant that “ye” was written as an abbreviation of “the”. It stuck, and so, to this day, we have “ye olde” instead of “the olde”. English has simply forgotten that you’re supposed to pronounce the “ye” as “the”. But that isn’t as much fun, is it?

Are you a fan of the ampersand, or do you despise it? Leave a comment below with your thoughts.

#Octothorpe

Hashtag vs OctothorpeEveryone knows “hashtag”. It’s a fairly young word, but it has completely saturated the world. According to Merriam-Webster, it’s first known use was in 2007 — it’s probably safe to assume it was on Twitter. Merriam-Webster declared it the word of the day on 6/23/2014, the same year it was added to the dictionary. But what came before hashtag?

The little symbol “#” that precedes our hashtags today has been known as a hash, square, pound sign, number sign, tic-tac-toe sign, noughts and crosses sign, and — my personal favorite — octothorpe.

Octothorpe’s history, however, isn’t as definitive as it’s cousin, “hashtag”. By most accounts, workers at the Bell Telephone Laboratories invented the word sometime in the late 1960’s or early 1970’s.

There is nearly universal agreement that the first half of the word refers to the eight lines projecting from the center square. The “-thorpe” however, remains a mystery, with far too many stories behind it to pinpoint the real one. Some of the most interesting include:

  • A Bell Telephone Laboratories employee who burped while talking about the symbol.
  • It’s a derivative of the Old English word for village (thorp) because the symbol looks like a village square surrounded by 8 fields.
  • Don Macpherson, a Bell Labs engineer, added -thorpe to “octo” because he was part of a group trying to get the olympic medals of athlete Jim Thorpe returned from Sweden.

Whatever its origin — and I’m rooting for the village square because it’s whimsical — octothorpe’s first appearance in print is in a 1970’s US patent filing, spelled “octothorp”. Other variations of the word include octothorn, octalthorp and octatherp.

I think we should use octothorpe more often. It’s just so fun to say. Oc-to-thorpe. In my opinion, it rolls off the tongue quite nicely (although perhaps not as quickly as “hashtag”).

What do you think? Should we become linguistics necromancers and bring back octothorpe, or let it die away completely? Leave a comment with your thoughts.

My Superpower: Writing

The word writing writing in a rainbow of colors.Writing. The childish fascination of ink flowing unimpeded from the tip of a pen. Forming lines. Curves. Joining together to form letters, words, stories. Color miraculously appearing where previously there was only blank space. Flowing neatly. Arching into a messy scrawl. As much personality as a person, if one only knows how to look.

Keys clicking, recording each tap. An emphatic thump to separate words. Two for paragraphs. Allowing thoughts to be recorded almost as fast as they appear. Effortlessly. Getting lost in descriptions so that one almost forgets having to press the keys.

The simple joy of transmitting thoughts to words. Whether it be pen on paper or fingers on a keyboard. Providing a glimpse, however brief, into the mind. A window into the cogs in motion. Spinning. Churning. Creating life.

It’s a superpower. Being able to call to mind an image using only a handful of simple words. The mind seizes them and is off into a wonderland of imagination. Just letters. Yet capable of sending the reader on an indescribable journey that is over far too soon.