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Of all the teachings we receive this one is the most important:
Nothing belongs to you -
of what there is,
of what you take,
you must share.


Puerto Colombia and Syntactic Pleonasm

Monday, 17 February 2014

Hi to my family and friends in the USA, and to the others that read my blog. First of all - I am doing well, am healthy, not wealthy, and hopefully a little wiser. :)

A couple weeks ago my girlfriend, Vivi, gave me the phone she had, as her brother gave her a phone, as it turns out it is the same model. So now we both have the same phones. Anyway, the phone she gave me is pink. Yeah, pink, uggh! hehehe, when I use it on the bus I try to shield it so nobody standing around me can see it. Yes, it is embarrasing to use in public. It is very pink! So Vivi bought a blue plastic cover for it, but it covers only the back, not the front. Oh, well. I certainly appreciate the thought though. And her. At any rate, today I was just messing about with it and changed the screen security from using a PIN to using a pattern. When the phone is locked there is the option to use a PIN, a pattern or a password to unlock it. I had it set to a PIN and it was fine. Today I decided to change it to a pattern. I did that at work this morning. Then when I got home I wanted to test the tiny ear plugs/microphone that she also gave me. When I entered the pattern it was wrong, and then again and again and again wrong, wrong, wrong, every time. Arggh! So I had to use the email me the forgotten pattern option, which worked so I changed it back to the PIN. No more pattern security for me. As for the earphones/microphone - the earphones don't stay in my ears. So I took off the little plastic covers and then they would stay, most of the time, but still, I don't like having such little things in my ears. Not even when I was playing in bands did I use ear plugs, I just don't like them. Modern bands use earphone monitors, I wouldn't be able to do that.

In the title of todays blog is the term Syntactic Pleonasm. What is that? Have you ever come across that before? I just learned about it recently. In one of my english classes a student asked me about the word 'that' and why it was in one of the example sentences in the language book. I told him that in that context the word was just extra, that it had no grammatical context whatsoever. (Note: the word "whatsoever" is a syntactic pleonasm.) In the sentence -
I thought that you had called last night.
the word 'that' is a syntactic pleonasm. It serves no purpose in the sentence. Read the sentence without the word 'that' and the sentence means the same as with it. It is just extra verbage that can be discarded. Also, the same for the sentence above that I purposely ended with the word 'whatsoever'. It's useless, pointless, to have it there. Note: another form of the syntactic pleonasm. In the context of that sentence 'useless' and 'pointless' are synonyms, thus syntactic pleonasms. There is another form of pleonasm, the semantic pleonasm. Some examples include "a free gift", "the real truth", "seeing with my eyes", "thinking in my mind", and "repeating it again". Now sometimes it is okay to use pleonasms for emphasis of an idea, explaining a concept or making sure a particular meaning is conveyed in your writing. Also consider: 'Safe haven', 'Tuna fish', 'Terms and Conditions' and 'each and all'. Pleonasm's are commonly found in poetry and in writings by people who don't know better, or just like to use a lot of words.
So that is your English lesson for today. I hope you liked it.

Vivi and I went to Puerto Colombia on this past Sunday. We had originally talked about going to Santa Marta, but that would be a more expensive trip, therefore better left for another weekend. Then we talked about going to Las Flores, in the far north of Barranquill, where the Magdelena River flows into the Caribbean. But we were unable to find a bus that goes up to that area, we will have to do a little more research. So we finally decided to go to Puerto Colombia. A small town on the coast west of Barranquilla. It has a pier, or what's left of it, that dates back to 1888. There are a couple bits of the pier missing. There is a movement on to restore it. Anyway, Vivi and I went there and spent the day walking on the beach, a bit in the water, and more on the beach. She doesn't like going into the water of the coast, so I pulled her in till it was up to her knees, oh no, but she survived, thankfully. hehehehe. We got a lot of sun - the tops of my feet are quite red and a bit sore, my calves a bit also, but not like my feet. And Vivi also got noticably darker, even though she is brown already. I didn't go in to the water any further as I had my wallet and passport and her wallet in my pockets. I didn't get any pics as neither of us bothered to take our phones. So another day we will go back and be sure to get some pics. (There are plenty of pics on the web, just do a search for Puerto Colombia, Atlantico, Colombia.)

I've had Vivi over for dinner a few times. The first time I did the cooking - stir fry. Easy enough. I've been making stir fry for some years and figure I have a handle on it. I get started with cutting up the vegies and chicken, and cook the chicken first, so far so good. Then remove the chicken and put in the hard vegies. All is going well, the stir fry tastes fine, so I thought I did well. But apparently it was all wrong. hehehe. She told me how it should have been done. Well, I'm alive and well, so I must be doing something right. She knows how it should be done, not because she's a woman and women are generally better cooks than men, but because her father is Chinese. So this past weekend she is here for dinner and we did the stir fry again, only this time she said "let me do the cooking this time". Humph! So that's the way it is. I was relegated to washing the dishes. Oh well, what can I say? Her stir fry was better than mine. So from now on she does the cooking, and I the cleaning. I won't argue.

I added pics to the Colombia photo album.

Till next time - chao!

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