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(x) my favorite part of this image is the flame-skirt #demonfashion

ok but the best part is

Hail Mary, full of Grace, PUNCH THE DEVIL IN THE FACE

#‘in every generation a slayer is born’
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via that Survived by Getting Fossilized in Idioms:



You rarely see a “wend” without a “way.” You can wend your way through a crowd or down a hill, but no one wends to bed or to school. However, there was a time when English speakers would wend to all kinds of places. “Wend” was just another word for “go” in Old English. The past tense of “wend” was “went” and the past tense of “go” was “gaed.” People used both until the 15th century, when “go” became the preferred verb, except in the past tense where “went” hung on, leaving us with an outrageously irregular verb.

The “desert” from the phrase “just deserts” is not the dry and sandy kind, nor the sweet post-dinner kind. It comes from an Old French word for “deserve,” and it was used in English from the 13th century to mean “that which is deserved.” When you get your just deserts, you get your due. In some cases, that may mean you also get dessert, a word that comes from a later French borrowing.

If we see “eke” at all these days, it’s when we “eke out” a living, but it comes from an old verb meaning to add, supplement, or grow. It’s the same word that gave us “eke-name” for “additional name,” which later, through misanalysis of “an eke-name” became “nickname.”

“Sleight of hand” is one tricky phrase. “Sleight” is often miswritten as “slight” and for good reason. Not only does the expression convey an image of light, nimble fingers, which fits well with the smallness implied by “slight,” but an alternate expression for the concept is “legerdemain,” from the French léger de main,“ literally, “light of hand.” “Sleight” comes from a different source, a Middle English word meaning “cunning” or “trickery.” It’s a wily little word that lives up to its name.

Nowadays we see this word in the expression “to run/ride roughshod” over somebody or something, meaning to tyrannize or treat harshly. It came about as a way to describe the 17th century version of snow tires. A “rough-shod” horse had its shoes attached with protruding nail heads in order to get a better grip on slippery roads. It was great for keeping the horse on its feet, but not so great for anyone the horse might step on.

The “fro” in “to and fro” is a fossilized remnant of a Northern English or Scottish way of pronouncing “from.” It was also part of other expressions that didn’t stick around, like “fro and till,” “to do fro” (to remove), and “of or fro” (for or against).

The “hue” of “hue and cry,” the expression for the noisy clamor of a crowd, is not the same “hue” as the term we use for color. The color one comes from the Old English word híew, for “appearance.” This hue comes from the Old French hu or heu, which was basically an onomatopoeia, like “hoot.”

When you leave someone “in the lurch,” you leave them in a jam, in a difficult position. But while getting left in the lurch may leave you staggering around and feeling off-balance, the “lurch” in this expression has a different origin than the staggery one. The balance-related lurch comes from nautical vocabulary, while the lurch you get left in comes from an old French backgammon-style game called lourche. Lurch became a general term for the situation of beating your opponent by a huge score. By extension it came to stand for the state of getting the better of someone or cheating them.

“Umbrage” comes from the Old French ombrage (shade, shadow), and it was once used to talk about actual shade from the sun. It took on various figurative meanings having to do with doubt and suspicion or the giving and taking of offense. To give umbrage was to offend someone, to “throw shade.” However, these days when we see the term “umbrage” at all, it is more likely to be because someone is taking, rather than giving it.

We might not know what a shrift is anymore, but we know we don’t want to get a short one. “Shrift” was a word for a confession, something it seems we might want to keep short, or a penance imposed by a priest, something we would definitely want to keep short. But the phrase “short shrift” came from the practice of allowing a little time for the condemned to make a confession before being executed. So in that context, shorter was not better.

Holy shit, “giving umbrage” literally means “to throw shade”
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Mediaeval scribes invented this bizarre Latin sentence as a joke to show just how difficult Gothic text could be to read.
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This past weekend, several friends and I got to talking about the King Arthur police precedural that Fox is allegedly developing. I only mention this because over the course of this conversation we realized that the ONLY modern-King-Arthur television show that Fox should really be developing is a hilarious reincarnation-based office sitcom, and now I can’t stop thinking about it, so I am going to tell you all about this imaginary sitcom in EXCRUCIATING DETAIL.
My imaginary workplace sitcom is about a struggling nonprofit organization and is probably written by the people who wrote Parks and Rec and Brooklyn 99. Accordingly, it stars Retta and Melissa Fumero:

as Alice and Pam, OFFICE NEMESIS battling nonprofit burnout! and each other!

….UNTIL, in the first episode, they start having flashbacks and eventually realize: they are the reincarnations of, respectively, King Arthur and Lancelot, they are destined to fight evil while being devoted to each other in an epic and legendary way, and weekly budget meetings just got really weird!

Every episode alternates between flashbacks to Round Table efforts to fight evil, provide justice, build a better and more stable society, etc., and current-day office hijinks as the nonprofit attempts to do the same, but with much more paperwork.

As a sidenote, all the flashbacks initially have placeholder white guy actors doing ye olde British accents and speaking forsoothly, except for the person having the flashback, who plays themselves. Once Alice and Pam recognize each other at the end of the first episode, however, every flashback features Retta and Melissa Fumero talking exactly like they would in the office while wearing shining armor.

The rest of the placeholder actors gradually get replaced by actual cast members as further reincarnation reveals occur,


- Donald Glover as the reincarnation of Sir Gawain, ladies’ man and too-cool-for-school tech bro, who’s the only person who knows how to keep the website running!

- Rahul Kohli as the noble reincarnation of King Pellinore, the development manager who is constantly questing after very worthy but COMPLETELY UNATTAINABLE grants!

- Yael Grobglas as the reincarnation of Sir Kay, the long-suffering and sarcastic office business manager who must always be the one to point out they don’t have enough money for their pet project!

- Sandra Oh as the director’s PA, the only person who knows where everything is and keeps the office running and everybody from murdering each other; she of course turns out to be Guinevere!

- and, of course, Jaime Camil as Merlin, the director of the nonprofit, who has been gathering all the Round Table reincarnations together for world-saving purposes all this while!

Merlin is not reincarnated, for the record. Merlin is just Merlin. This is why Merlin is very good at magic and WILDLY INCOMPETENT at being the director of a nonprofit organization.Sample episodes include:

- the episode where everyone is rushing to meet a grant deadline, with flashbacks to PREPARING FOR BATTLE AGAINST THE ROMANS

- the team retreat episode in which Merlin insists everybody do trust falls; in flashbacks, Merlin also insists everybody do trust falls

- the episode in which Donald Glover has to go through ludicrous hoops to install a new open-source software, intercut with the story of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

- the mid-season love triangle episode, in which a.) the reveal of who is Guinevere, b.) the reveal that Lancelot and Arthur were way more than good buddies, and c.) THE MOST AWKWARD OFFICE MEETINGS YET, FOR EVERYONE

ok so who wants to fund my sitcom now


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strix alba

February 2017

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