History That Never Was

Home of Dawn Vogel: Writer, Historian, Geek

Fun for Friday: Language Complexity vs. Language Size

| March 9, 2018

A recent study suggests that languages with a larger vocabulary size tend to be less complex and easier to learn than those with a smaller vocabulary size, which necessitates a number of grammatical rules. The examples that they give of languages with a larger vocabulary size are English and Mandarin. And while I’d argue that […]

Fun for Friday: Contronyms!

| March 2, 2018

Have you ever heard of a contronym? Also called an auto-antonym, it’s a word that is its own opposite. For example, the word “bolt” can mean both “to secure,” as in “bolt the door,” or “to flee,” as in “bolt OUT the door.” To pull one out of very common current usage, how about the […]

Fun for Friday: March Writing Prompts

| February 23, 2018

It’s nearly March (can you believe it?!), so here are my March writing prompts. The themes this month are mostly applicable to the northern hemisphere, as spring is on the way! But there are a few other oddities tossed into the mix. Here’s the text version! Lion Melt Green Blossom Nest Rain Worm Charm Umbrella […]

Fun for Friday: Unusual Tree Photo Prompt

| February 16, 2018

For this week’s Fun for Friday, here’s a photo prompt. I love the carefully made hole through which this tree is growing. But what is the wall for? Is it keeping something out? Or is it keeping something in?

Fun for Friday: More Interesting Etymologies

| February 9, 2018

I’m always interested in linguistics and etymologies. Here’s an article from a few years back where the Oxford Royale Academy has named 14 words with the most fascinating word origins in the English language.

Fun for Friday: The Etymology of February

| February 2, 2018

Did you know that originally, February didn’t even exist as a month? And that the Roman god Februus is named after a Roman festival from which the month takes its name, not the other way around? If you’re interested in word origins, check out this article about the origins of the name of the second […]

Fun for Friday: February Writing Prompts

| January 26, 2018

As January winds to a close, it’s time to start looking at writing prompts for February. There are a lot of love-related things for this month, but you don’t have to make them part of a romantic story or poem. In fact, it could be interesting to flip some of them to their darker sides. […]

Fun for Friday: Penguins Writing Prompt

| January 19, 2018

According to our calendar from our local zoo, tomorrow (January 20th) is Penguin Awareness Day. As my husband said, “I am aware that there are penguins.” So am I. I have both petted and fed a penguin at our local zoo, so I can confirm that they are definitely real animals. They’re also one of […]

Fun for Friday Writing Prompt: A Winter Scene

| January 12, 2018

You know how they say that a picture is worth a thousand words? Today’s writing prompt is the picture to the right. Sure, it looks like a simple wintery scene, but there’s a deer grazing at the edge of the only partially cleared road, and there’s a woman walking away. One might assume that the […]

Fun for Friday Writing Prompt: A Fresh Start

| January 5, 2018

What would your character do if they had the opportunity to make a fresh start? Would they continue on where they were already headed, or would they do something completely different? If you’re stuck writing a character, try this out as a way to get unstuck. Write that character with a fresh start, and see […]