The Garden

A blog by Marijn van Hoorn

A disorganised mess

Marijn van Hoorn
The new index page for

Hem-hem — you’ll have to excuse me for the mess. I blew up my index page in a command-line accident the other day and i’m still sorting out all of the rubble. It’s going to be a disorganised mess of a post today.

The initials LM and TY + KM + TM carved into a tree.

I noticed some kids had carved their initials into a tree while i was out on a walk yesterday. I hope their polycule is doing alright.

On the same walk, i noticed the mud in the grass turning a vibrant shade of purple and was briefly horrified by the thought that i might be on the English equivalent of a Superfund site… before i realised that oh, yes, that’s just the sky reflecting off of it.

A blocky stained glass window, divided into primary coloured rectangles in a style reminiscent of Piet Mondriaan.
Pic unrelated to the uranium thing. I hope.

I fell down a minor Wikipedia rabbit hole after looking up their shockingly detailed article about stained glass. Did you know that you can make yellowy-green glass with uranium? Because i didn’t.

You should check out Tiffany glass and this window with thin slices of agate embedded into it at the Grossmünster church in Zürich, too.

It seems my journal is slowly turning into an odd hybrid of a diary and a commonplace book — the diary going forwards from the front and the commonplace book, filled with passwords, notes, and cheat sheets, going backwards from the back. One day, i suppose, they’ll have to meet in the middle, and i’ll have to copy the back half out again for Volume III.

This wasn’t really an intentional thing. My teachers always tought me to write things i’d need for future reference in the back of my book, and i naturally carried that over when i started writing a journal. (And anyway, i have to keep those randomly-generated passwords somewhere if i can’t fit them in my own head!)

While translating The Gender Tetrahedron into Dutch, it came upon me that a lot of common LGBTQ terminology in Dutch would be downright offensive in English. “Homo’s en transgenders” is the accepted way of referring to gay and trans people in Dutch, but say that in English and people would give you the stink-eye.

A tangent about the absolute state of Dutch gender-neutral pronouns which i excised from the main body for being too long

Also: bloody pronouns! English has the singular they up its sleeve to easily and non-conspicuously provide for anyone lying betwixt or outside of the two gender poles. Dutch has no such option: while coöpting hen and hun, the equivalents of “them” and “their”, respectively, works fine, this isn’t a possibility for the nominative, because while zij translates to “they”, it also means “she”. This is not great.

The Dutch Transgender Network wants people to use hen in the nominative, the equivalent of saying “them walks”, which, with the greatest of respect to them, is like nails on a grammatical chalkboard. Some people get around it entirely by using die and diens, words for “that one” and “that one’s” — but the latter is a bit archaic, and using it too much sounds… odd. Others, including me, have decided to make a reasonable compromise by using die in the nominative and hen and hun otherwise: Die liet me hun huis zien. It works well enough.

Oh, and don’t get me started on non-standard pronouns, because i’d like something a bit more binary-breaking than “just vaguely ambiguous” for when i’m in vetrois-mode. As far as i can tell, there has been very little discussion of this idea, although i did find a forum post mooting xij, xijn, and xaam, which is probably as good as i’m going to get.

Okay, cripes, this tangent has gone on for far too long. I’ll go put it in a <details> or something.