Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Language; Jail-bound?; Customer orientation; Disrespect; Gib; & Vaping.

Yesterday I re-read Orwell's essay on language that obscures meaning, including his famous statement that Political language is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind. Later, I saw this example in Private Eye's Pseuds Corner; John Osborne: I propose that Philip Larkin developed a set of techniques that allowed him to instantiate unfixity in the very fabric of his verse. These techniques include ellipsis, a four-act structure with closing reversal, asysmmetrical stanza lengths and rhyme schemes, plus a battery of disaggregative linguistic devices such as split similes, negative qualifiers, oxymora and rampant paronomasia. Together these techniques constitute the implements of a home-grown deconstructionism.

Possibly good news: The man responsible for one of Spain's notorious ghost airports - and a lot else besides - has had his 4-year jail sentence confirmed by the Supreme Court. We now wait to see if he ever sets foot in any jail and how long it is before friends in the Cabinet issue a pardon. I doubt he's on tenterhooks.

Spain: I sent an email to my home insurance company today. I got an automatic response which didn't just say they'd answer as soon as they could; it cited the law under which they're obliged to do do. I wonder what this adds to my satisfaction/expectation. One gets the impression that, if there were no legal compulsion, they wouldn't do it. Said law: El artículo 10.3, capítulo II de la Orden ECO/734/2004, de 11 de marzo, sobre los Departamentos y Servicios de Atención al Cliente y el Defensor del Cliente de las Entidades Financieras

I'm told you can be arrested in Spain for a 'lack of respect towards authority', usually in the form of an unfriendly Guardia Civil officer. Who would seem to have a good deal of scope. Especially when it's his word against yours. Here and here (para 4) are a couple of examples.

I mentioned Gib the other day. Specifically, the failure of the Spanish authorities to comply with EU instructions around the frontier queues. Here's an article which claims to provide the proof of borderline skulduggery.

Finally . . . A new verb for me: 'To vape'. This is to smoke an electric cigarette and there are now vape cafés all around the UK. And a Vape Room in London airport. Progress?

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