Friday, August 08, 2014

Catalan capers; A sailing disaster; New Spanish words; New English word; & Gascony Bascony.

You couldn't really make it up . . . The doyen of Catalan politics, Sr Pujol, who recently admitted to siphoning of hundreds of millions of euros during his decades in politics, was the founder of an institution dedicated to the teaching of ethics. On a smaller scale, his son built a stable of 18 fast cars - including 4 Ferraris and 3 Porsches - despite having no gainful employment. And no one asked why or how. But, anyway, Pujol senior was tracked down to his refuge this week, where he told the media he was disposed to facing the judicial system. Which is good of him.

The Catalan president - Sr Mas - had implored Catalans to have the strength to get over the scandal and not to let it impact on their view as to whether Cataluña should be independent. I wonder what he'll say if rumours of his own commissions prove to be true.

The other talking event of this week has been the finding of 127 kilos of cocaine on the Spanish navy's 4-masted training ship. Three of the crew had brought it on board in small packs beneath their jackets while in port in Colombia. Needless to say, they were to be handsomely rewarded for this. All a bit embarrassing for the navy's top brass.

Some new (to me) Spanish words:
1. Un sparring - A dog used to train other dogs to fight
2. Guasap - Whassap
3. La ofi - The office
4. Los coachs - The coaches (as in trainers)

Back in the UK there's a new English verb - To Roget. This is the practice of using the famous thesaurus to change words so that examiners can't detect copying & pasting using software that identifies plagiarising. This student (mal)practice has produced gems such as these:-
Left behind became 'sinister buttocks'.
Powerful personalised services became 'Herculean personalised liturgies'.
Legacy networks became 'bequest mazes'.
Current big players became 'common mature musicians'.
To stay ahead of the competition became 'To tarry fore of the conflict'
New market leaders became 'modern store guides'.

Finally . . . Did you know that "Gascony was historically inhabited by Basque-related people who appear to have spoken a language similar to Basque. The name Gascony comes from the same root as the word Basque."?


Perry said...

Alexandre Dumas cast d'Artagnan as a Gascon to emphasise his separateness, however his inspiration was Memoirs of Mister d'Artagnan, Lieutenant Captain of the first company of the King's Musketeers, by Gatien de Courtilz de Sandras (Cologne, 1700).

Anthea said...

Have they done any dna testing on the Gascons to see if they are genetically similar to the Basques, who are significantly different from other Spaniards?

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