July 28, 2012 | Portuguese

Cornea Rebellion!

Do my eyeballs dislike Portuguese or something?

Rats. I did it again. A few days ago somehow I managed to scratch, or at least abrade, my cornea again. Technically both corneas this time, according to the doctor, though only one is truly bothering me.

Another day in bed with the comforter over my head, doing Pimsleur, feeling sorry for myself. And more days of not being able to read for more than short periods of time.

It has not, however, interfered with my early-to-bed, early-to-study schedule. I was up at 5-something today and was in Verdi Square before 6. After a bit I decided to roam over to Riverside Park, where I did Pimsleur with a view of the Hudson River.

Apple Bank, Overlooking Verdi Square. That's A.M.

Apple Bank, Overlooking Verdi Square. That’s A.M.

Pimsleur with Hudson River Mist

Pimsleur with Hudson River Mist

Recently I came across the word pequenino in one of my grammar books, meaning “tiny.” That reminded me of the word “pickanniny” in English, an offensive term I recall mostly from dialogue in 19th-century American literature.

Sure enough, at, I found this explanation of origin: “1645–55; probably ultimately < Portuguese pequenino, diminutive of pequeno small; as a word for “small child,” pickaninny and its variants are widespread in English-based creoles of the New World and West Africa; compare Jamaican English pickney, West African English pickin small child.”

On another subject: there are aspects of Essential Portuguese Grammar by Sue Tyson-Ward that I like, but should I really be taught things like “obtuse angle” (o ângulo obtuso) and “rhomboid” (o rombóide) before I even officially learn present tense? Grr.

Order matters.

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