Monthly Archives: June 2021

When was this website established?

Readers of this site may have noticed that at the bottom of the front page lies an inscription proudly blaring the alleged date this digital demesne was first set up:

Established on the 14th day of August, 2017 CE
and the 6th day waning of Metageitnion, χϟθ.α AKO

Given that i’m writing a post called “When was this website established?”, you’ve probably worked out that that’s not completely right. It’s a date that could qualify for the founding of this site, but it’s by no means the only one.

The 14th of August, 2017, was the day that i created the account “batavia” (later changed to “marijnflorence” to avoid some unfortunate international associations) on the free web host Neocities, the original — sort of, we’ll get there — host of this website. I picked this date for display because it was a nice, clear starting point, emblazoned on the sidebar of my Neocities profile. But for the first few years of that account’s existence, nothing much happened.

The start to marijn.uk as it currently exists can be traced to the 22nd of March, 2018, when i created a repository on code-sharing site Github with the intent to much around and maybe make a proper personal site. This was transferred to Neocities at some point— i assume about two days later, although i can’t be sure, since Neocities’ dating on old posts is hopelessly vague.

There are two more dates in the running to be the true date of establishment. You see, “batavia” was not my first Neocities site. Far from it, my first attempt at a website was “xoticmatter”, created on the 26th of April, 2017; four months before the August date! I never got around to making much content for it, and at some point i lost the password, leading me to create a new account.

The final date in contention is specifically about the founding of marijn.uk. The site used to be hosted on a subdomain of neocities.org, but on the 8th of January, 2021, i finally coughed up the dosh for a domain name.

Which one of these dates is the “real” date of establishment? One could make a compelling case for any of them, but i’ll be sticking with the current 14th of August, as a nice compromise between the earlier “xoticmatter” position and the later Github and domain name positions.

Men, women, ha’men?

It has always annoyed me that the English tongue lacks a nice, neat Anglo-Saxon word like ‘man’ and ‘woman’ for those of us who are quite certain that they are neither of the aforementioned two. The vocabulary that does exist is either too clinical — ‘non-binary person’α — too demeaning — ‘enby’, god forbid anyone ever calls me that again — or overconfident that we’ll remain outcasts forever, like ‘genderqueer’. (Mind, i do find that last one to be the least worst of them. It has a nice ring to it.)

Most attempts to fill the void smack of what i can only call a distinctive coinage-ness. They feel like they were coined yesterday to fill a gap, not like a regular word, passed down from the language from generation to generation. But hƿæt! I’ve been toiling in the neologism forges for the past several weeks, and after fruitlessly attempting to derive something from various Middle and Old English rootsβ, a flash of inspiration hit me while i was falling asleep.

The word that hit me, half-awake, was ha’man (like ‘ha’penny’), rhyming with ‘layman’ (or ‘barman’γ, if you’d like). Us folk — us ha’men — live a life of halves; halfway between the set two types to which everyone expects us to rigidly conform, halfway toward full acceptance, torn between the many parts of our internal being.

You don’t have to like it. Maybe you think the apostrophe is ungainly. Maybe you don’t like that it ends in ‘man’, however unstressed that A may be. Maybe you’re insulted by its derivation from a word for ‘half’. Maybe you don’t like its resemblance to the name of a particularly nasty Persian vizier. All perfectly valid reasons.

That’s okay, though; i’d almost prefer you not be too fond of it. The last thing i’d want is for this quaint little word i created mostly to describe myself to become a great splitting point, just another chapter in the endless bubble of internet toil and trouble. I’m at peace with the fact that the only person who’ll ever call themself a ha’man is probably me… but, hey. It’s nice to have a word for it. (And maybe it’ll get people to stop calling me a fucking ‘enby’ for once!)

Links for the 4th of June