Sunday, June 22, 2014

Spanish passengers; Vigo snakes; Not junking Juncker; Ponters novelties; & A football comment.


I've heard it said more than once that Spain will never really prosper under its own steam as long as only 10-20% of the population work as hard as anyone else in the world, while the rest are happy to be carried as passengers. I'm reminded of the time the Dean of the Law Faculty of Santiago wrote to the Voz de Galicia saying they could hardly be expected to pass more than 20% of the students if 80% of them failed to turn up for the exam. And now comes this notice from a university teacher expressing anger at the pathetic efforts of her students in a Physics exam. Given that Spanish is a phonetic language, I'm struggling to understand her complaint about spelling mistakes. Perhaps V and B.

It seems a lot more snakes are being caught or run over in Vigo than ever before. Particularly the Culebra Bastarda. Or the Malpolon Monspessulanus, as it's known in the rest of the world. No one seems to know why its numbers are rising but fortunately, though venomous, it's not fatal to humans. But it can give you a nasty shock if it raises its head in your toilet. Especially if you're sitting on it, as one terrified young woman recently was.

David Cameron's (now lone) fight to stop Mr Juncker becoming President of the EU Commission has again raised and answered the question of who rules Europe. The answer, of course, is Germany. Not Mrs Merkel this time but her junior coalition partner, the SPD. She, it's said, is just as antipathetic towards Mr Juncker as Mr Cameron, but has been unable to prevail in this case. Mr Junker, of course, is the ex-president of Luxembourg, a country which has defied all EU efforts to deal with money laundering and secret bank accounts. Not much of a reformer, then. Just as Mr Cameron claims.

We had a couple of novelties in Pontevedra this weekend:-

1. A new type of beggar. A chap in a military cap, standing on a corner in front of a placard that said something like Checa + España = Skoda.

2. A fiesta gastronomica of octopus. Which I can take or leave.

Finally . . . There was a cartoon in the latest Private Eye which was funny before the events of last week but hilarious after them. It has the England team descending from their plane on their arrival in Brazil, with the Captain shouting from the cockpit: "Shall I keep the engines running?"

6 comments:

Perry said...

Colin,

The snake link you provided for the Culebra Bastarda when translated, states the snake is poisonous, but the Malpolon monspessulanus link states it is venomous. I found that both words are very similar in Spanish; venenosa & venenoso; easily mistranslated, but one can eat venomous snakes, just not poisonous ones. Vipers, cobras and the rest aren’t poisonous - they’re venomous. Poison does you harm when you ingest it; venom does you harm when it’s injected into you. It’s “poisonous” when you bite it - it’s “venomous” when it bites you.

However, the Japanese grass snake becomes poisonous by eating toxic toads, which it is able to tolerate. It stores their poison in glands in its neck. When attacked, the snake
arches its neck, to make these glands prominent, so that any creature biting them will get poisoned. The neck, of course, is where predators usually bite snakes when trying to kill them.

http://old.qi.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=11751&start=0&sid=d3bcfdd724b368bde3360a241a4d4ac1

http://www.snakeman1982.com/Venomous%20vs.%20Poisonous.asp

Anthea said...

Spanish spelling! In my experience, gained marking work in the UK by native Speakers of Spanish, even those who may have been educated in Spain, they confuse v and b, y and ll, r and rr. And they can't do accents to save their life!

Anonymous said...

Hey Perry sucks my dick

Colin Davies said...

I think you mean: "Hey, Perry. Suck my dick."

You seem to have missed the punctuation and grammar modules of your English classes.

Anonymous said...

Colin Davies old rogue! Suck my ass

Colin Davies said...

Still can't get it right, eh.

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