Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Who done it?; Pardons; & Apostrophes.

Having visited the wonderful Museum of Human Evolution in Burgos today, I joined my colleagues in the Centro Gallego. "Do you speak Galician", I asked the waitress, in Gallego. "Sorry", she said. "I don't understand you. I'm Romanian."

The outgoing President of the EU Commission has said it's quite untrue that the EU was responsible for the catastrophic bubble in Spain between 2002 and 2007. It wasn't the result of an ill-planned introduction of the EU, he insisted. Nor did it stem from inappropriately low interest rates. Or walls of cheap money from elsewhere in the EU. No, it was all down to the failure of Spain's Central Bank to take measures to deal with these. The bank, he ironised, saw itself as the best in the world and repeatedly rejected the EU's claims that something might just be wrong. So, it was Spanish pride which came before the Spanish fall. Yes, well. Maybe.

A member of the Guardia Civil was recently suspended and prosecuted for not just doing nothing about the sexual harassment of a woman by his friend but also filming it on his camera. He was jailed for six months but quickly given a pardon and a fine. His father is a city councillor in Asturias and a member of the ruling PP party. But this is probably just a coincidence.

Which reminds me . . . There are a staggering 20,000 afueros in Spain - people who are in some way protected from prosecution. Most of these are said to be in the judiciary but 2,000 are politicians. I'm aware that folk like Mitterand, Berlusconi and Sarkozy had legal immunity during office but does any other country in the world offer such comprehensive protection to a class which is nowhere to be trusted? If not, why?

Finally. . . Interesting to see that the 'grocers' apostrophe' has made its way to Spain - as in Cantina's and Menu's. I'm moving towards the school that the apostrophe should be completely abandoned. Chaucer didn't use any and got by nicely. Though you couldn't write I'm back then.


Perry said...


Just because "Inadequates" are ignorant about the raison d'être for the apostrophe, does not mean it should be abandoned. That's tantamount to abandoning the installation of the parking brake, whilst living at the top of a hill. Eventually, its absence will be noticed.

Training dogs is about kindness. Installing Latin, Greek and/or English grammar requires thrashing it into pupils, as per Elizabethan times. Tudor, that is!

"The dawn-to-dusk teaching was mostly the rote learning of Latin. To encourage fluency, some schoolmasters recommended punishing any pupil who spoke in English". You'll get the picture!

Don't draw the incorrect conclusion!


Alfred B. Mittington said...

Why?? What in the name of all that is abbreviated is wrong with or objectionable about the innocent apostrophe?? It's a marvelous little sign, most useful, multi-applicable, anti-classist, and cute. You might as well object to the semi-colon for being somehow indecent!


PS I think the word is actually 'Aforados', i.e. those who enjoy a fuero.

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