Ask Artie #6 – Waffling.

Artie Q. PebbletonAsk Artie, Linguistics!

Artie, Do you know whether the word “waffle” – which, according to Dictionary.com, means “to speak or write equivocally” or “to talk foolishly or without purpose; idle away time talking” – has, or has ever had, anything to do with the type of waffles we eat? Dictionary.com suggests that the origin of the word came from “waff” – to wave … Read More

Ask Artie #5 – The Etymology of Pep

Artie Q. PebbletonAsk Artie, History!, Linguistics!

My friend Ian sent me this Wondermark comic, which is written by the estimable David Malki !* : Ian wanted to know what the real etymologies of pepper and pep were, and I am happy to oblige him. Obviously (see last panel) none of the information in this comic strip is true.  But that’s okay!  That’s why I’m here. This is a chicken-and-egg … Read More

Ask Artie #4: Phoning it in.

Artie Q. PebbletonAsk Artie, Technology!

Katie writes: I have a [smart]phone that is, essentially, an overpriced paperweight. Should I get a new phone or should I just continue to suffer through the rest of my contract? I do hate planned obsolescence – the notion wherein products are designed to conk out after a relatively short period of use.  I find it to be particularly egregious … Read More

Ask Artie #3: On Anon

Artie Q. PebbletonArtie's Obscure Hobbies, Ask Artie, History!, Linguistics!

  Artie, I requested the help of a business colleague, not knowing he was on vacation.  He placed his leisure on hold and got back to work.  I told him to get back to his vacation and that we’d deal with the matter when he returned, but he kept working.   When urged again to stop he replied, “ I know, … Read More