Monday, August 29, 2011

Sometimes things happen that confirm one in one's atheism. A family group set off at 6.30 the other morning on the Camino and, shortly thereafter, were hit by a car. Three of them died. One of these was the man who'd arranged the pilgrimage as homage to the Virgen de los Milagros (the Virgin of Miracles), whom he felt had brought him safely out of car crash twelve months previously. The driver of the car is thought to have fallen asleep at the wheel. I've previously warned people about venturing out in a car in the early Spanish hours but now I guess this advice will have to be extended to pedestrians. Incidentally, the driver won't face any charges.

All of which sort of reminds me . . .Is it just me or does anyone else find the front of the Audi Q7 to be remarkably aggressive, especially if the little lights are on? As if the driver is making the statement "I'm dumb enough to have bought this 4x4 to drive around towns in but, if it comes to a fight, I can knock your sox off."

Interesting to see this priority item on the web page of PressTV, where it passes for world news.

Here's a bit of something or nothing, as a boss of mine used to say. Lists of words that are equivalent (I think) in British and American English, showing which ones are shorter. Corrections and additions both welcome:-


Flat - Apartment
Sweets - Candies
Car - Auto(mobile)
Got - Gotten
Nappy - Diaper
Zip - Zipper
Tap - Faucet


Rubbish - Trash
Motorway - Highway
Lorry - Truck
Bonnet - Hood
Aluminium - Aluminum


Pavement - Sidewalk
Rubbish - Garbage
Motorway - Interstate
Biscuit - Cookie
Boot - Trunk

Spanish culture: More than 50% of couples who decide to live together now do so without marrying. Probably a wise move.

Which reminds me . . . My Catholic daughter and her friend went to Mass this evening. As they left, I pointed out that the age of the next youngest person in the church would probably be lower that their combined age. Which didn't raise a smile.

The law suits that are being brought against the boat companies operating between the coast and the Atlantic Isles appear to have had no effect. According to the Voz of Galicia, said companies are still taking twice as many people there as they should.

A nice new Spanish word . . . Chupóptero - 'parasite'. From the verb chupar, To suck.

Which is a nice link into a question . . . Can anyone tell me the origin of chi in this exchange. Theories even.
Gracias a chi.

Finally . . . An interesting article on political satire in the UK. 

And two articles - here and here - on Spanish white wines, by region. Including Galicia.


Midnight Golfer said...

This American grew up using "car" and "got" significantly more than "auto / automobile" or "gotten" - Preferring slightly the word "candy" over either "sweets" or "candies" but still using "sweets" at times. Using both "faucet" and "tap" (although the word "tap" mostly because of "tap water")

As for "interstate" "freeway" and "highway" (all of which are applicable to a "freeway", but only "highway" when it's just a "highway" - making the default "highway" when not being specific.)

Never: Biscuit for cookie, zip for zipper, nappy for diaper, flat for apartment, boot for trunk, bonnet for hood, lorry for truck, nor aluminium for aluminum.

And, yes we swapped-in "sidewalk" for "pavement" when we started calling the asphalt the pavement, but pavement in general still included the sidewalk, as well, when (again) not being specific.
(Perhaps my family is not the most representative of American usages, though. Who knows?)

As for others... Americans in general, thanks to Daniel Webster, supposedly started to, on purpose, shorten as many words as were convenient, starting with the easy ones, like colour, behaviour, etc.

The Q7 is very mean-looking, and I find it ironic that in its own family, as the price goes up, the uglier they get. In my opinion the VW Toureg is by far better looking, and the Q7 is slightly better looking than the Cayenne. (It is also my opinion that Porsche wrote the book on "An Engineers Guide to Style", particularly the Panamera.)

As for gracias a chi vs gracias a ti, it reminds me that sometimes, when I'm trying to help a SPaniard with their pronunciation of English words, they often sound like they are converting their "T" and "S" sounds to "CH" and "SH" sounds, but then I remember, it's my fault. My own teeth get in the way, and that's the way they hear it from me, even though I don't mean to be teaching them my own impediment.

Midnight Golfer said...

Noah Webster, not Daniel.–L

tim said...

Here's a few more words for your list... bumper/fender, windscreen/windshield, lorry/truck all the same length.

Peugeots look agressive to me, almost angry, the 908 being a good example although a little rare.

Candide said...

I always hear the πτερόν in chupoptero and before my inner eye a kind of large, evil insect flies by, sucking (chupando) wherever it can benefits of the most varied kind.

Colin said...

Funny, that's exactly what I was thinking . . .

Colin said...

MG. Many thanks for that comprehensive reference. I've seen several over the years, the funniest perhaps being that provided for US troops going to the UK during WW2.

Mike the Traditionalist said...

When the family went to Canada we lived in a small place called Pottsville, Ontario. There were no sidewalks only a dirt road and we used to walk several miles to school and passed a lake where boys were fishing and playing hookey (truant) from school. Later we moved to a town called South Porcupine, Ontario where we had wooden sidewalks. There were gaps between the planks of wood which were dangerous for high heels and totally useless for the roller skates I had brought from England. There weren't many cars on the road and those who owned them put them up on blocks in their garage for the duration of the winter. I had no trouble with spelling because in the 40s Canadians still used the English form and if we used the American spelling we were marked down even in a history or maths exam. I was once challenged for writing gaol instead of jail. When using got and gotten in Canada you have to take into account the time of the action. "He got into trouble." It happened yesterday or earlier. "He has gotten into trouble." It has only just happened or not too long ago. Now I see from the Canadian papers they don't even use the double L in words and people can't see the difference between "then" and "than" which is also spreading to the UK.

Colin said...

Thanks, Mike. Fascinating.

Midnight Golfer said...

Pants Trousers?

Anthea said...

Gracias a chi - gracias a ti - it's probably that very "behind the teeth" t sound many Spaniards have: almost ch. I'm told thatone of the ways they identify English speakers of Spanish and Italian, for that matter, is the quality of our t and d sound - not dental enough.

Colin said...

See the addendum to tonight's blog . . .

Candide said...

Always happy to span the generational gap.

Colin said...

And yes I tell everyone, "You have to spit out the initial T". I discovered this years ago when none of my friends could understand where I'd been when I said I'd been in nearby Tui for the weekend. Got to purse those lips and spit. Watch the TV announcers . . .

Candide said...

Well, watch the reassuring slow blink of their eyes when they say something along the lines of "Germany has dropped the Euro", or "the bomb in Palma didn't kill half of those expected to die".

Azra said...

I'm not a big 4x4 fan, but I'd prefer the Mercedes over the Audi in that range. I do love the Audi R8 though...

Reading through the British/American terminology makes me realise how "British" South Africa is... but then again we are a former colony...

Midnight Golfer said...

"we are a former colony"

I wonder, are there any English speaking countries that aren't?

I'll bet there's quite a few of non-English speaking ones, as well.

Candide said...

See, Blue One, you care for those things. That's another difference.

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