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Posts Tagged ‘thoughts and ramblings’


You’ll probably laugh at this. In the first place I don’t claim to be a grammar police. Sometimes, I just have that deep frown permanently pasted on my face when I see words used wrongly or misspelled  or simply added to a sentence without even checking their  meaning.  When I started blogging here at WordPress more than four years ago, I  wrote this post because I got tired of reading  some blogs from another site  with wrong grammar and sentence construction. We learned even from grade school how to build a simple sentence with the subject and predicate  put together as they should be. I also read in one Facebook  meme that our generation is lucky because back then, we didn’t rely on Mr. Wiki or Ms. Google. We learned the hard way, didn’t we?

Watch That Grammar

In between learning how Twitter works and experimenting on  how to use Twhirl, I’ve read some blogs on USTe.tv posted by some alumni and students.  One thing I noticed was, most of them could not even distinguish if they are, an alumni, alumnus, alumna or alumnae.  Alumni is usually used as a general term for graduates of an educational institution while alumnus refers to a male graduate. Alumna is a female counterpart of an alumnus and alumnae is the plural of alumna.  Some of course post blogs without even checking if there are typo errors or  if the sentences are grammatically correct.  One could get away with errors while typing but having a sentence mangled just because one is not aware of how to use the proper words is quite disappointing to read.

We often talk about how young people speak and write nowadays. Shortened and abbreviated words in texting did that.  They seem to be lost without the help of a spell-checker.  As I’ve said before in my previous blog, English seems to look like a mangled language too. Outside of academic and professional contexts, writing is something you make in your own personal style and sometimes you get away with words that would make it easy for your readers to understand.  And it’s not about being perfect because nobody is, it’s about respecting your readers and making sure that they don’t have to reread a sentence before they could understand it.  Bad sentence construction? Take a look at these phrases and tell me what’s wrong with them:

- do not overact to the things that you have thought have hurted you
This comes from someone who claims to be a writer and a blogger.  There is no such word as hurted  in any dictionary that I encountered. Hurt is already a past tense.  You can say, I was hurt or I am hurting but never use the word hurted.  Hurt is a word where the present tense, past tense and past participle are the same.

-do not start or make fights most prolly… Prolly is  a web-slang  on the internet which means “probably” but you don’t normally use that in sentence construction just to be “in” or something.  It still has no exact meaning in the dictionary.

-past failures and disappointments kept hunting me.  Wow, hunting, she probably means haunting, right?

-I am worried about the future for I do not know what it will offer to me.. …. Hmm..it should have been, what it will offer me.

-She was angry because she don’t know also……   Remember, don’t is used  in plural nouns so it should have been, she doesn’t know also….

-While we are at the main building, it started raining…..  It should have been, “while we were at the main building, it started to rain.  Past tense and present tense should not be used in one sentence.

-I am  just hoping it will be notice…. It should have been , it will be noticed with a d.

I don’t mean to sound like a perfect grammar teacher here but it just makes me cringe to read how certain words are used incorrectly.  And here are some commonly mistaken words used:

a.  Your and You’re – Your is a possessive pronoun while  You’re is a shortened version of You are, so you must say, “you’re welcome”.

b.  Loose and Lose – Loose means not firmly fastened or not tight or not precise while lose means removal of a thing or unable to find

c. Me and I – You start your sentence with I, not me.

d. the use  of i.e. and e.g.  These are Latin phrases,id east means “that is”. It is a way of saying “in other words”. exempli  gratia means “for example”.

e. Its and It’s – It’s is short for it is and is a contraction while its is a possessive pronoun.

f.  There and Their – There is used as a pronoun or reference to a place while their is a plural possessive adjective.

g.  Unless and Not unless – the use of  unless is conditional and it means “if not” or “except that” so it can stand on its own without adding not as a prefix.

h.  Do and Did – Do is an irregular verb and Did is a past tense of Do.  The infinitive here is Do so when you use Did in a sentence, it should always be followed by a present tense.  The correct usage would be:  I did visit the place instead of I did visited the place.  This is a common mistake we make when using the word “did”.

I particularly remember an actress who usually tries hard to answer in English even without understanding the questions asked of her and the conversation goes like this:

Tv host: Congratulations on your forthcoming marriage!

Actress: No, it’s not my fourth, it’s my first…
Can you guess who said that?  I rest my case.

(P.S. Watch my grammar, I might have missed something here. WordPress says this is my 1,520th post)

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I am lost.

I am lost in a sea of words that  will never get to be  seen in print. I struggle with the thought on how  I will string the words and make  a beautiful line or two.  Not inspired? But I am. Busy? Not so much now. Lazy? Most likely. Come to think of it, I visit WordPress every day just to be updated with posts from online friends that I follow.  I sometimes make comments but I still could not find the “like button” inside a post,  not just mine  but all posts that I visit. It is forever “loading”.  You can’t see me liking your posts, rest assured though that I read them and I do sometimes get inspired by your words.

It’s a peaceful night.

I watched  YouTube last night but it took so long  to load (hopeless internet connection) so my son suggested that I sleep early and  wake up early too to catch up on everything. I wonder why I had this sudden craving for cheese pimiento spread paired with a crunchy slice of Vienna bread.  Since I don’t know how to make one, I have to find it on YouTube. Such a simple thing to do but I never tried it before. Talk about simple things that make  one smile.

I hear the music.

Gosh, this is even crazier than before, it’s 1:55am and I should be in deep slumber but I am wide awake. The quarter moon and a sprinkling of stars are clearly visible from my window.  It’s a beautiful sight and I am transported to another world while I listen to Richard Clayderman’s instrumental music.  I have several CDs of Richard but it is nice to listen on YouTube when the internet connection is good. Another favorite is Kenny G. I could listen all morning to their music and not get bored.  Listening to Kenny G. always reminds me of the movie Dying Young and as always I can relate to the whole story, from the point of view of someone who has to struggle with health issues.  I was lucky enough to find the book on a sale bin at Diplomat.  The book  was written by  Marti Leimbach.  I love the movie adaptation better though. Sorry Marti, you made me cry but not as much as Victor and Hillary did.

Oh, it’s John Green!

Last weekend,  Nissa brought her  boxed set of John Green books which her sis-in-law gave her on her birthday last month.   I am not a fan of YA books.  So far, the only John Green book that I read was The Fault In Our Stars  and even wrote a short review at Goodreads.  I am giving these a go as soon as I find time to buy a plastic cover at NBS.  Nissa never goes without covering her books first before reading.  Here are the titles included in the set:

  1.  Looking for Alaska
  2. An Abundance of Katherines
  3. Paper Towns
  4. Will Grayson, Will Grayson
  5. The Fault In Our Stars

Are you a John Green fan? Join me in another reading marathon. By the way, Richard is playing the song Feelings now.

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It’s a sluggish  journey to kingdom come, my internet connection, that is. For the past several days, it was a struggle to write a blog post here.  I hate that whole-screen commercial ad that suddenly pops up on my screen when I am searching the net. It is sponsored by our internet provider so I guess, short of blocking it out which I don’t even know how, I have to bear with it not with a smile but through  gritted teeth.  Even  my old PC  conks out on me just when I am a bit inspired to write.  They’re partners in crime probably.

The truth is I was not feeling well the past two days. I think I had too much of gardening, weeding and digging the soil, taking advantage of the sunny days.  I even planned to repot some of my sansevieria plants  and  trim my Fukien tea plants. And it’s been like ages since I captured a bloom in the garden. It’s almost all green now except for the white flowers of my two dwarf calamansi.

Pachystachys Lutea. Common names are Yello shrimp plant, Golden candle and lollipop plant.

Pachystachys Lutea. Common names are Yellow shrimp plant, Golden candle and lollipop plant.

Did you know that the actual  flowers are the white ones on the tip of the yellow bracts ? These are so easy to grow from cuttings. When I have time, I’ll propagate more of this.

Zebrina pendula

Zebrina pendula

 

After so many years having this in the garden, I finally learned its name just the other day. It’s called  Zebrina pendula more commonly known as Wandering  Jew. It’s quite invasive so it needs heavy pruning. It easily thrives through cuttings and  are best hung in a corner.

A friend just reminded me of my upcoming birthday.  Some close friends and I have already celebrated it in advance a  week ago at Vikings – Megamall.  One of them came home for a short vacation and she treated us to lunch. I will share some pictures I took of the event when my internet connection is good.  Birthdays are reminders that we are not only getting older  but should be growing wiser with age too.

Color me yellow at least for today.  Yellow is the lightest hue of the spectrum. The color psychology of yellow is uplifting and illuminating, offering hope, happiness, cheerfulness and fun.  I need all these right now.

 

 

 

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October

I actually thought of posting a blog yesterday but things got in the way as usual, it was a busy, busy day. Finally, Josef  and I were able to finish cleaning the garden and trimming the carabao grass. It looks more like a garden now, thank God.

How I wish the thunderstorms we’re having every afternoon would let up a bit and let me enjoy the sun all day long. The heavy downpour yesterday made going home an agony for most commuters. My daughter and son-in-law got  stuck in traffic for around two hours when on normal days, travel time is only about thirty to forty-five minutes.  I  told them to always have something to munch on inside the car for such eventualities. I left the corporate world fourteen years ago, but sometimes I miss the daily commute, the camaraderie we had with fellow commuters and office mates.  Back in those days, we had carpooling , sharing a ride with friends who lived  in the same area so travel time was more enjoyable than the options public commuters have now, jostling with  a big crowd, waiting in line on MRT trains that frequently break down,  smelling the exhaust fumes of motor vehicles, buses and jeepneys in all corners of Metro Manila. These are those times that I am grateful to be in the comfort of our home sans the traffic and everything that goes with it.

I am glad October is finally here. It’s my birth month so I am excited.  Time flies! I don’t mind growing old really, I am just grateful  and thankful for all the blessings in my life. At  times though,  unseen problems show their ugly faces but what is life without challenges?  Wear age with grace – never mind the grey hair that show regularly like a proud crown on your head, never mind the aching joints that make you sometime sleepless, never mind the wrinkles that crop up before you can even say, “gosh, I am getting old”.  Two years from now, I will be able to line up at the senior lane in supermarkets. Two years from now, I will be able to buy medicines at a discount. Two years from now, I won’t have to pay Philhealth contributions so I could enjoy the benefits attached to it. Two years from now, when Nate turns four, I will be able to teach him to read by himself and appreciate nature through the camera lens. You see, happiness is how you make it. Getting another year older won’t be a hindrance though, it somehow makes life something to cherish even more.

Welcome October!

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They come back in snatches, like a favorite old song that keeps you thinking how you felt while you listen and sing along. They come back, like the gentle patter of raindrops outside  your  window sans the frightening thunder and lightning that always accompany a thunderstorm. They come back and they make you smile.

Our overhead light got busted and you might think it silly that I am using a LED  light attached to my transistor radio to type my way through. I am afraid  I would forget these lovely thoughts if I postpone writing them even for an hour. I spent  the early evening visiting my favorite writers at Philippine Star. The latter is a  favorite national daily too because it was through their invites that I got two articles published a few years ago.  I was so happy that I got paid for  writing an article about OFW families, which we were back then.  I am digressing again. I read the editorial  page of  the Philippine Star now and then but I never skip the lifestyle section of the paper looking for Second Wind, a byline by Barbara Gonzales and Love Lucy by Lucy Torres. The former is a 70 something retired advertising executive who shares her journey with her readers. She writes, teaches writing, does arts and crafts while Lucy is the Lucy Torres Gomez, a house representative from Ormoc down south.  I am inspired by their writing style  that I laugh sometimes all by myself while reading their articles.  Lucy writes fluidly about her early childhood, her dreams when she reaches 85 (haha), her penchant for arts and crafts, her preference for writing short notes on pretty stationeries and sealed in even prettier envelopes, the midnight snacks she always craves for with hubby Richard.  These remind me of the days growing up in the province.

When we were kids, my aunt had a small sari-sari store that sold  everything from bubble gums, Vicks candies to Tancho pomade and that green aftershave/cologne that they used in barber shops  way back then. My favorite was the Vicks candies in small packets with free plastic rings that my cousins and I used to collect. All my fingers would be adorned with different colors of rings in different designs. Heaven! The treasures of youth.  I remember the happy times  when my cousins and I would gather dry twigs to use for cooking  and during summer, armed with wide baskets and bayong,  we would go out in the heat of the sun to gather duhat (black plum) for afternoon snacks. My girl cousins would use fresh annatto seeds growing in the backyard to color our lips,  and we would use madre cacao to curl our hair.  On moonlit nights, my cousins and I would play patintero or luksong tinik and tumbang preso. They were priceless games that a child of ten would definitely enjoy. The best though were the times when we would drink coconut juice straight from the tree and later eat the buko as soon as they were scraped from the husk.  By the  way, buko is a  young coconut.I had my share of climbing trees too (guava trees) mostly. Those were the days,  lovely memories of the past.  Some may be a bit hazy but the fun attached to those long-ago days are still fresh in my mind.

They make me smile with that pleasant ache of remembrance.  Traipsing down memory lane. What were yours, can you remember?

 

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I read about ALS back when I was into research of alternative treatments for cancer when I finished my six cycles of chemotherapy five years ago. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), often referred to as “Lou Gehrig’s Disease,” is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. It sounds frightening and they say that there is still no known cure that would put a stop to it.  I only heard of it again when I saw some personalities on TV doing the ice bucket challenge. It has become viral on social media. Are they doing it for publicity or are they doing it because they sincerely want to help people with this kind of ailment? I am not here to judge, I just noticed that those who have accepted the challenge, movie and television personalities that you get to watch every day are also urging and challenging some people in the government to do the same.  I even heard one this morning commenting that the feeling of tingling sensations while the ice water touches your skin is similar to the pain one feels when he/she has ALS. I am not in a position to say something negative here but do you have to do it so you could help? Wouldn’t  it be nicer if you would help even without doing the challenge?

There is this interesting article I read a few minutes ago published by health impact news entitled “Do you Know What You Are Supporting?” such chilling facts that make my skin tingle. I remember the times when I was on chemotherapy, after each every session for two days at most, you can’t even move your body and arms normally because you are so weak, as they say in Tagalog, “parang lantang gulay”. I remember the times I cannot even hold a spoon and fork because the tips of my fingers are so painful like they are being pricked by a needle when they touch something cold or anything metallic. What I know is, everyone who is afflicted with life-threatening ailments needs support group and that is sadly lacking here in our country. When I was under treatment, I longed for some friends to discuss cancer freely with me but only a few dared. Probably they thought that it would be more painful to remind me of it but I tell you , it helps a lot.


The ice bucket challenge has caused general awareness in some of us  but  how healthy really is an ice bucket poured down your head?In an article published today by Philippine Star, a leading newspaper here in our country, it quoted a well-known cardiologist Dr. Willie Ong who  told The STAR that “in some cases the blood pressure may drop suddenly, causing the affected individual to collapse. This could be particularly harmful to the elderly, pregnant women and the ailing”.

Is it a fad, are they just going with the flow? What’s your take on this?

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He said, “we must come back here”.

Oh yes, why not? Fancy my son being so supportive of my hobbies. Although he is not into fiction books like I am, he loves accompanying me to bookstores and  letting me find more books to explore and read. Yesterday was one such lovely day that we got to spend together after a lightning trip to the supermarket to buy groceries. Grocery-shopping, reading labels  and nutrition facts, finding something  new, making list of items that we need to buy – purely routine for some but it’s a joy for me to do.

Last week when he saw  what I bought at Books for Less, he promised to go with me to buy more.  Who would not be thrilled with that? I thought he would be put off by the gargantuan  and riotously arranged books  on display there but he found out something to his interest, a hard-bound book on games  (cards, magic tricks etc.) and he was hooked. He was even surprised that all books on sale are at P10 pesos each.

And more books.

When I think of all the books still left for me to read, I am certain of further happiness. ~Jules Renard

When I think of all the books still left for me to read, I am certain of further happiness. ~Jules Renard

I found two more books on Christmas, one is a collection of short Christmas stories by Rosamunde Pilcher  and a novel by Debbie Macomber.  I found a copy of Taylor Caldwell’s Captains and the Kings.  I watched the tv series decades ago. That was mid-seventies, I think when television programs were something to look forward to, not the sort of teleseryes  (soap operas)  that they have now that I never bother to watch. I remember watching it with Mom and Dad along with the television  sitcom John and Marsha, the longest running comedy series that made us  all laugh.  I love history even if they are just written through fiction books. It is now hard to find mass-produced copies of novels written by great writers from way back except maybe in second-hand bookstores  and I was lucky to find Captains and the Kings. It has mostly five-star ratings on Goodreads .  I am also excited to read Los Alamos, a first novel by Joseph Canon. I have just finished reading the second book of  Ken Follett on WWII and  this would be a nice follow-up since its setting was at the end of WWII. How lucky could one get, right?

Yes, of course.

Yesterday, when Josef said that we have to come back and add some more to my loot, I readily answered, “Yes, of course”  with a smile on my face that says, what a lovely day!

What books are you reading at the moment?

 

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