Category archive for Languages (RSS)


Posted: April 8th 2013 16:44. Last modified: April 9th 2013 15:07

HL Mencken responds.

More video

Posted: April 8th 2013 13:58. Last modified: April 8th 2013 13:59

The wig isn't mine (I need one like this), and neither is the firewood I am clutching, but I obviously do share most of the opinions expressed. I may get round to posting a rough translation of the Catalan.

Temps de la picor

Posted: March 21st 2013 13:26. Last modified: March 21st 2013 13:29

The itching time came up yesterday, probably referring to Francoism, while I was prancing around in a new wig for purposes that will shortly be revealed. DCVB says "l'any de la picor" refers to distant times, and proverbologist Víctor Pàmies cites Joan Amades's hypothesis that it comes from the Year of Fleas and Famine, 1471, […]

Ngram: afternoon nap vs siesta

Posted: March 18th 2013 15:42. Last modified: March 18th 2013 15:47

Rather weary yesterday PM after a morning's rabbit-hunting, so bumbled through Evelyn Waugh's brilliant Decline and fall and Vile bodies, which contain quite a number of afternoon naps. Conjecture: the British began to replace the expression with "siesta" as they started staying awake after lunch and drowsing off became associated with the lazy Latins. Refutation:

Segued vs segwayed

Posted: January 11th 2013 10:44. Last modified: January 11th 2013 10:58

The world is clearly lost when even speakers of Romance languages start doing this. "Then, without stopping, the guitarist and Ellington segwayed into Body and Soul"? I hope not.

Irene Rigau and visualizar

Posted: December 10th 2012 13:54. Last modified: December 10th 2012 14:01

Send her to prison by all means, but make Aleix Vidal-Quadras, Luís Soravilla and other ignorant pedants visit her in penance.

Silent, redundant H

Posted: December 5th 2012 10:50. Last modified: December 5th 2012 10:51

Where to put it and why.

Horrendous Spanish Golden Age experiences with Belgian beer

Posted: December 4th 2012 16:05. Last modified: December 5th 2012 12:49

"Feverish nag piss".


Posted: November 30th 2012 11:22. Last modified: November 30th 2012 11:25

Introducing the Spanish heavy rock unlaut (sic).


Posted: November 29th 2012 11:14. Last modified: November 29th 2012 11:20

Joan Ripollès Iranzo thinks Arturo (the "o" disappeared in public a decade ago) Mas may be on the way out, Elena Ribera isn't so sure. My favourite Reverend Bacon this time round was Oriol Junqueras, whose resemblance to a mad pig conceals the fact that he is a cunning one. I loved his recycling of […]

WTF does “Cada hormigón con su espigón” mean?

Posted: November 12th 2012 15:41. Last modified: November 12th 2012 17:00

It's in Pedro Vallés Libro de refranes (1549) along with Cada gorrión tiene su espigón, which I'd translate as "To each sparrow his ear of corn." Contrary to general belief, concrete of various types was known after the Romans lost it and the British rediscovered it, so is this saying something like "Reinforce your concrete […]

Gerra civil Cataluña contra Calunya

Posted: November 7th 2012 13:15. Last modified: November 7th 2012 13:22

Activists who can't spell "war" with the paintbrush deserve to die by the sword, no? I think we've already established that schools should be teaching peepul how to write in whatever language they prefer, and that nations can go fuck themselves, so let's not go here: ... or here:

“Doesn”t time fly”

Posted: November 3rd 2012 13:17. Last modified: November 4th 2012 01:57

Hypercorrection over at the excellent El Café de Ocata? Don't think I've seen that one before. (Via the echo at IRQ.)

Pronouncing democracy

Posted: October 24th 2012 16:39. Last modified: October 24th 2012 16:41

English: deMOcracy, Spanish: demoCRAcia, German: demokraTIE. Would multilingual discussion and implementation of such a potentially useful concept be facilitated by the creation by Brussels of a well-remunerated Accent Unification Committee, or is diversity key? It's downright aucword to think that others may think you're dumb just because you stress such a basic term wrongly in […]

A sophist etymology of “Isle of Dogs”

Posted: September 19th 2012 16:16. Last modified: September 19th 2012 17:21

Like the wharf, it comes from the Canaries. Not.

Did the Hapsburgs (or whoever) really force Jews to adopt absurd surnames in the late 18th century?

Posted: August 13th 2012 01:48. Last modified: August 13th 2012 11:03

Or is it a proto-Nazi myth?

Flamenco: (manifestación cultural de la) escoria de un país bajo?

Posted: August 5th 2012 21:56. Last modified: August 5th 2012 21:58

Lectura estival, Baroja La Feria de los Discretos, en el cual Quintín Roelas se encuentra secuestrado por error por una banda de gitanos en la Córdoba de 1868: - Yo le diré a usted quién soy, y si después de saberlo no le parece mal, seremos amigos. - Y antes también. - No, antes no. […]

Gibraltarización / gibraltarisation

Posted: July 21st 2012 13:12. Last modified: July 21st 2012 13:14

Lovely word, but does it serve to express other entrenched Iberian hatreds?

The new geography of X is not Y

Posted: June 14th 2012 16:15. Last modified: June 14th 2012 16:26

Berlin is not Bonn, Bonn was not Weimar.

El gazmoño del patriarca

Posted: June 5th 2012 20:37. Last modified: June 5th 2012 20:49

Warder when it communicates does not always remain at a level.


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