taken book

welcome to this edition of things I know entirely too much about, first language acquisition edition
  • little babies hear fine differences like between “ba” and “pa” but if those sounds don’t make a difference in their first language they will lose the ability to distinguish between them
  • grammatical morphemes (like third person -s in English) are acquired in a similar order by all babies, but at different speeds
  • the progressive “-ing” in English for example is acquired very early one whereas third person -s comes in surprisingly late
  • second language learners actually imitate this sequence quite closely (if one lets them and the teacher refrains from shouting at them every time the third person -s is omitted, that is - but lets talk about that another time)
  • THE WUG TEST - it proves that babies don’t just memorize words and word pairs (such as the plurals of words) they actually understand the rules behind it and can apply them!! if any of you have kids up to like 5 years, try it with them!!
  • a three year old can tell you that “read the bike” sounds silly and doesn’t make sense but isn’t so sure about “bike the ride” yet
  • yES all of this acquisition order stuff also applies to sign language!!
  • babies and children cannot learn a language just from hearing it on the radio/tv etc. they need to have direct interaction (i.e. someone who reacts to their utterances)
  • isn’t this so SO fascinating?? 

“Name one leader who was happy.“

Magnus’ words break the silence surrounding them and Alec glances up at him with a quizzical look on his face.

They are sitting on opposite sides of the coffee table in Magnus’ living room. Alec hasn’t seen him since Magnus walked away from him at the Institute three days ago.

It’s been a busy couple days, trying to catch both Valentine and Jonathan before they destroy the world, but despite that, Alec had immediately made his way to the loft, when Magnus texted him to come see him.

“You can’t,” Magnus says, almost daring Alec to try.

So he does.

He tries to think of someone he knows to be a great leader, someone who’s happy. But all he finds is heartbreak and sadness. He thinks of Luke, a well-respected pack leader, who’s lost not only his old life but also his long time partner. He thinks of his parents, of their messed up marriage, of all the lies their entire family has been built on. He thinks of Lydia, who was so close to having both, when the love of her life was killed.

He looks at Magnus and thinks of how much grief and betrayal he’s gone through in his long life, and he has to swallow the lump in his throat before answering.

“I can’t.”

“I know. They never let you be successful AND happy.” Magnus stares off into the distance for a moment before looking back at Alec. His eyes are sad, but there’s something else in them as well.

Before Alec can figure out what it is, however, Magnus is out of his seat, legs carrying him slowly around the table and towards Alec.

“I’ll tell you a secret,” Magnus says, kneeling in front of him.

Alec almost stops breathing. The fact that Magnus is so close to him after so long makes him overwhelmed and dizzy, and it’s very clear in his voice when he speaks, words shaky and whisper quiet. “Tell me.”

“I’m going to be the first.” Magnus takes Alec’s hand in his, looking into his eyes with a determination Alec has never seen on his face before. “Swear it.”

“Why me?”

“Because you’re the reason. Because you are going to be the first one along with me.”

Magnus squeezes Alec’s hand, and suddenly the emotion in Magnus’ eyes that Alec couldn’t pinpoint before becomes clear. Hope. Magnus has hope, he has faith in them, in their future together, and he’s asking for Alec to do the same.

“Swear it,” he repeats.

Alec doesn’t hesitate; he looks Magnus directly in the eyes, feeling the same determination he saw before. “I swear it.”

“I swear it,” Magnus echoes, a small smile tugging at his lips.

He reaches up to rest his hand against Alec’s neck, thumb slowly caressing his cheek, and Alec can help but smile too.

They’re okay. They’re going to be okay.

edit: i’m gonna put the disclaimer here and i hope people will see it, but the dialogue is mostly taken from ‘a song of achilles’ just a psa i guess

There is nothing that teaches you more than regrouping after failure and moving on. Yet most people are stricken with fear. They fear failure so much that they fail. They are too conditioned, too used to being told what to do. It begins with the family, runs through school and goes into the business world.
—  Charles Bukowski, The Captain is Out to Lunch and the Sailors Have Taken Over the Ship
A Spell For Protection While Coming Out As Trans

I wrote this spell in preparation for a conversation about my gender and being trans with my parents. We’ve had a very bad relationship in the past due to this, and other issues, and I was expecting the talk to go very poorly for me. 

This spell is for protecting you when coming out as trans or discussing your gender with people you fear will be less than accepting of you.


  • small bottle or jar
  • salt, for protection
  • sugar, to sweeten the relationship
  • herb(s) representing the person(s) you want to come out to
  • herb(s) representing yourself and how you want to be seen
  • optional - loose glitter in a reassuring color


Select and cleanse your bottle. I recommend using one small enough to fit in your pocket, so that it can be near at hand. 

Mix together the salt, sugar, and glitter and pour it into the bottle, filling it about half-way. 

Add herbs that you associate with the person(s) you will be talking to; I used rosemary, since there is a huge rosemary bush outside my parents’ house, and I associate the smell with my childhood there. 

Add herb(s) you associate with yourself; I chose mint and star jasmine. If possible, herbs that come from a place you associate with comfort and protection are preferred. 

Seal your bottle however you see fit; if you would like to add a message, sigil or incantation, now is the time. I chose to wrap my bottle up with a bandana my partner had been wearing the day before.

When the time comes for the conversation, bring the bottle with you in your pocket. If you feel unsure or scared or just need a bit of reassurance, slip your hand into your pocket and hold the bottle tightly.

Good luck, and be safe.

Sometimes I get flashbacks to some of the shit you pulled and get so angry for being so young and not knowing how to stand up for myself

MBTI: Fight Club Quotes

INFP:  “If you don’t claim your humanity you will become a statistic”

INFJ:  “The lower you fall, the higher you’ll fly.”

INTJ:  “We are not special. We are not crap or trash, either. We just are”

INTP:  “Losing all hope was freedom.”

ENTP: “I don’t want to die without any scars”

ENTJ: “May I never be complete. May I never be content. May I never be perfect.”

ENFP:  “Marla’s philosophy of life, she told me, is that she can die at any moment. The tragedy of her life is that she doesn’t.”

ENFJ:  “ You know how they say you only hurt the ones you love? Well, it works both ways.”

ISFJ:  “ You are not your job, you’re not how much money you have in the bank.”

ISTJ:  “ You’re the same decaying organic matter as everything else.”

ISTP:  “Maybe self-improvement isn’t the answer, maybe self-destruction is the answer.”

ISFP:  “ You had a near-life experience”

ESFP: “it’s only after we’ve lost everything that we’re free to do anything”

ESFJ: “I am Jack’s inflamed sense of rejection.”

ESTP:  “Maybe we have to break everything to make something better out of ourselves.”

ESTJ: “The things you used to own, now they own you.”

  • gustar — to like, to please
  • querer — to want, to love
  • odiar — to hate
  • abrazar — to hug
  • amar — to love
  • darle un beso a alguien — to give someone a kiss
  • despreciar — to despise
  • estimar — to think highly of (also to estimate)
  • extrañar — to miss
  • aguantar — to bear, to put up with
  • soportar — to tolerate, to stand
  • adorar — to adore
  • detestar — to detest
  • respetar — to respect
  • sentirse — to feel
  • desear — to want, to wish
  • avergonzar — to embarrass
  • molestar — to bother, to annoy
  • fastidiar — to irritate, to annoy
  • encantar — to love
  • disgustar — to upset
  • tenerle (irreg) cariño a alguien — to be fond of someone
  • tenerle (irreg) envidia a alguien — to be envious of someone
  • caerle (irreg) bien/mal a alguien — to get along well/badly with someone