1.30.2012

Alpaquita

     Many of you are familiar with the South American Alpaca and this, my friends, is that, but in miniature.  Often referred to as 'una alpaquita' which is the diminutive form of alpaca, making it very cute indeed.  Who could possibly argue with that?  Is this not the cutest thing you have ever seen?

This beauty was purchased on the road somewhere between Puno, Perú, and La Paz, Bolivia, but before arriving in Bolivia, therefore we can call it unequivocally: a Peruvian Alpaquita.

While I was on a tourist stop purchasing this very alpaquita I had the opportunity to feed and pet a live version and let me tell you, it was territorial as could be.  You cannot just march up to a baby and not expect to be considered a threat by its mother.  It scared the crap out of me.  Who even knows the damage an alpaquita can do?

Hay que tener mucho cuidado cuando alimentas a las alpaquitas.  Tal vez sea tu última vez. (?)


Feeding a baby alpaca.


Taunting the mother of the alpaca behind me, who charged at me.

1.24.2012

Gorilla Munch Much?

Some time ago I wrote on connotation and a bit about how words have two meanings, one is connotative and the other is denotative, or one is going to have some negative/positive spin and the other is the dictionary meaning.  The word 'munch', well, according to dictionary.com:

verb (used with object)
to chew with steady or vigorous working of the jaws, often audibly.

That is denotation...That's what I think of when I look at that gorilla going at it up there.  I can see in the background the baby gorilla and I really feel like I'm in the jungle, pounding my hands and bantering, even hissing at those non-alpha males that want in on the action.

What about connotation?  I don't think there is really anything that is positive about this word in that regard.  If you don't think that there could have been a better word then why don't you visit urbandictionary.com and see what they have to say about it?  I'm sure you'll be pleasantly or uncomfortably surprised, depending on your convictions.

Sources, and such:

1.07.2012

In L2 Everything is Exciting

Izq = izquierdo, Der = derecho
Spanish for: left and right
While living abroad and acquiring another language it is absolutely necessary to become infatuated with the language and culture being learned.  It will likely be a result of your interest as opposed to an active decision to become enamored.  You can't help it, you just fall in love.

When living in Chile I became fond of a store called Casa & Ideas, which carried many common household goods, such as Bed Bath and Beyond, but with a bit less of the bath and bed, and more of the 'beyond'.

I purchased these slippers, having abbreviations of the words 'izquierdo' and 'derecho', both adjectives following the word 'pie', such as pie izquierdo and pie derecho, meaning 'left foot' and 'right foot' in Spanish.  This was the coolest thing to me since I was in love with Spanish, so I bought them immediately.

An interesting fact about the word 'izquierdo/a' is that it has its origins in Basque, or Euskera, the language of the Basque people in Northern Spain.  What's really great about this language is that it is a language isolate, which is a fancy way of saying 'Where does it come from? We do not know.'  It is broken down as follows, esku (hand, From Basque) and kerros (Celtic word, meaning 'twisted').  The left hand has long since been the 'worthless hand' and been associated with all sorts of bad; not surprising considering that 'derecho' in Spanish also means 'right, or correct'.  Apparently the Latin words for 'right' and 'left' are 'dexter' and 'sinister', which are passed down to us in the roots 'skillful' and 'evil'.

Learning words in foreign languages can be fun and buying simple things--such as slippers--can make it even more exciting.

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