Monday, November 14, 2005

The average salary increase in Spain over the last 12 months is 2.9%. As inflation is at least 3.5%, this tells you all you need to know about unemployment levels in an economy that is, nonetheless, one of the fastest growing in the EU.

The members of the Royal Academy of the Spanish Language have been busy deciding on the correct spellings of words imported from other languages. Here are a few samples of old and new versions…
Un piercing/Un Pirsin
Un casting/Un castin [An audition]
For those who haven’t read about this in previous blogs, one of the fascinating aspects of modern Spanish is the use of an English gerund to make a noun which doesn’t actually exist in English. Here’s a few more that I’m guessing have been revised in the same way as those above:-
Un parking/Un parkin [A car park]
Un lifting/Un liftin [A face-lift]
Un listening/Un lístenin [A dictation]
Un mobbing/Un mobin [Sexual harassment]

The news from the BolboOceanRace isn’t too good. Within hours of them leaving Vigo on Saturday, a tremendous storm damaged four, if not five, of the six boats, driving most of them into Portuguese ports for repairs. Shades of the hurricane after Trafalgar, though none of them has actually sunk so far, unlike nearly all the captured French and Spanish galleons. Perhaps we won’t see an upsurge in maritime tourism after all.

When I was a child, the office opposite my school bus-stop belonged to a Commissioner for Oaths. This was a rare animal in the UK then and I suspect it still is. And a poor relative to the lawyer. My impression is the situation is reversed in Spain. Here, the equivalent of a Commissioner for Oaths is the Notary Public and these seem to be far more important than lawyers. I suspect this says something about the paperwork involved in even simple transactions in Spain. And the need to get your signature regularly attested.

Here’s a surprise – Telefonica’s profits soared in September. Possibly something to do with all those silently retracted discounts.

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