Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Catalan capers again; Presidential apologies; UK immigration; Funny fines; Words; & UK prices.

Just a day or two after President Rajoy admitted he probably couldn't stop an informal referendum on Catalan Independence in 2 weeks' time, he's now saying he hopes to stop it via the courts. He's asking the Council of State (an advisory body of Wise People) for its opinion. This is said to be a prelude to going back to the Constitutional Court. There's still no indication of what Madrid could do if the Catalans go ahead anyway. Invasion appears to be off the options list. But what remains on it, I wonder.

More significantly, the day after the arrest of 51 politicians for corruption, the President issued an apology to all Spaniards for putting such crooks in positions of responsibility. This is something he could have done long before this, of course, and probably won't butter any parsnips.

A truly significant announcement would have been that the PP and PSOE parties had reached a pact on how to deal with corruption. But this evaporated at the last moment and today the PSOE opposition published a long list of things they'd like to see attended to. Possibly.

The Mayoress of Calais, attending a parliamentary committee in London today, said the UK government could reduce illegal immigrants by ensuring the UK benefits system didn't make the place an eldorado. Rather as Mrs Merkel said some months ago - If you don't want people to come for the benefits, reduce the benefits. The catch is that these cuts would have to apply to Brits as well.

I mentioned daft fines imposed on Spanish drivers the other day. I've since read these include:-
1. Eating in the car while driving: 200 euros.
2. Drinking a soft drink, a bottle of water, or coffee. €200
3. Putting on makeup (even if stopped at a traffic light). Any such action that could be considered a distraction also entails a fine of € 200.
4. Driving without shoes. €200.
5. Going shirtless. €200.
6. Putting your elbow on the window frame. €80.
7. Putting a For Sale sign on your car. €200.
8. Loud music. €80.
9. Blowing your horn except to avoid an accident. €80 euros.
10. If the right hand lane is free and you're driving in any other. €200.
11. No ITV test certificate. €200.
12. Not advising El Trafico of a change of address. €80.
13. Expired driver's license. €200.
14. Jumping an amber light. €80.
15. Carrying a hoe in the trunk or anything which can be considered a weapon. €300. This also covers carrying a baseball bat or a club. A handmade catapult hanging on the mirror was sanctioned with a fine of €300 in 2010.
Essentially, a traffic cop can come up anything and fine you for it. Then there are concepts like "reckless driving" that are so general and vague that anything goes in their interpretation.

Word of the Week: Un test. This is the anglicism increasingly used in place of prueba. Its plural seems to be the incorrect tests. Possibly because it really should be testes. Which is already taken.

Word query: In Spain and in France, for example, the words for actor and actress are still used. In the UK, though, mosts actresses now seem to insist on 'actor'. I wonder why. Do they dislike the age-old connotations of 'actress'. Or is it a feminist thing? Is '-ess' disappearing from English?

Finally . . .When I last lived in the UK, the high prices of the supermarkets were beyond my comprehension. Some light has finally been shed on this here.

3 comments:

Alfred B. Mittington said...


If it's an English loan-word that Spanish uses, then why would it be incorrect to use an English loan-plural as well?

Your second argument for not using the common Spanish plural is much more convincing. But what, I wonder, does Testes mean???

Innocent Alfred.

Colin Davies said...

As if you don't know.

Perry said...

Page 3 girls described themselves as budding actresses, quite frequently a few years ago & we chaps knew what that meant. Now they have got male genitals & prefer to be actors.

Seamstress had the same connotation. "Ooooh sir, you'd better let me put a tuck in that".

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