Thanks to those of you who posted a welcome back!
allow me to join the welcoming chorus, ElizaD.
Your remarks about the tone of the site are much to the point, and should give posters food for thought. “Academic slant”? Heaven forfend! If this is not a site that it’s fun to be at, it’s no site at all. “Academic” has become a rude word, which shouldn’t be applied to anyone at wordorigins.org (including the professionals among us). All too often, it’s a disguise worn by phonies, who are more heavily loaded with bullshit than the rest of us, because they spend more time garnering it and stashing it away. We do have some learned types here (our fearless leader, for one) --- I think the duty of idiots like ourselves (I use the word here in its original Greek sense, of “ordinary person, layman") is to keep them from decaying into academics. How are we to do this? By being our undaunted, un-intimidated selves. You, for one, do this very well (so, incidentally, do other women posters—I do wish we had more of them, and saw more of the ones we have!). Why do you think people are so pleased to see you back?
A diet of academic suet pudding is the road to heartburn of the spirit. Meringue can be equally nourishing, and is much more digestible.