Spanish word extensions: I'm sure it happens in other languages, English included, but I like the way the main noun/verb is used to make others: So parto (birth) becomes partera for midwife. And primero becomes primerizo for 'first-timer', 'novice', or 'beginner'. Or primeriza, if we're talking about a pregnancy.
Which reminds me . . . When Hemingway was staying in Madrid's Hotel Florida during the Spanish Civil War, there would be a daily cavalcade of ladies of the night, friends of the foreign correspondents et al. These he termed 'whores de combat'. Nice. But one wonders whether it was really his, as he wasn't beyond a bit of verbal theft. Inter alia.
There's a blog I'm sure I've mentioned before - Guirilandia. This is written by a Spaniard who lives in London(London, UK). (S)he, justifiably, garners a lot of readers, most of them Spanish I guess. Yesterday's was on British humour(humor) and on how much English you need to get it at different levels. As ever, (s)he was spot on with his/her (sympathetic) observations. Best of all, (s)he included 3 great clips as his examples. Click here to see these.
The first rule of bureaucracy is Expand your empire. Should this fail, the second rule is At least keep what you've got. Everyone in the EU power nexus is a bureaucrat, as no one voted for any of them, except fellow bureaucrats, and they're all hell-bent on expansion. The the judges of the European Court are no exception. This week they've predictably handed down a political judgement which backs the European Central Bank but is injurious to German interests. Our Ambrose - actually a supporter of an EU done properly - has commented thus:-
- This opinion is a vaulting assertion of EU primacy. If the Karlsruhe accepts this, the implication is that Germany will no longer be a fully self-governing sovereign state.
- The European Court has this time departed a long way from the rule of the law, even by its own elastic standards.
- It gives the ECB almost unfettered discretion, adding for good measure that the courts should refrain from meddling in monetary policy. Not only is this an attempt to tie the hands of the Verfassungsgericht when the inevitable case against QE is filed, it is also enthrones the ECB over a monetary dictatorship answerable to nobody.
And best of all . . .
- This is the Investiture Contest of our times, echoing the 11th century clash between the German emperor Henry IV and the imperial papacy of Gregory VII over supremacy in Europe.
Talking of Popes . . . The current incumbent - thank God a pale reflection of Gregory VII - says religious beliefs shouldn't be mocked. Clearly, he must think other beliefs can be mocked. So, what, for him, makes religious beliefs separate? Well, they're held by people who'll be angry and react if you mock them. So, nothing intrinsic about them, then. They're just held by potential psychopaths. Did he really know what he was saying??
Which reminds me . . . While all that politically expedient grandstanding was going on in Paris, no one was saying very much - and doing even less - about the 2,000 recent deaths in Nigeria at the hand of ISIS's even uglier twin brother, Boko Haram. Not many feel-good votes in that, I guess.
Finally . . . Galicia's traditional winter weather duly arrived yesterday, with winds and rain - only 6 weeks late. Then, at 6 this morning, there was the unusual combination of a sleep-disturbing burst of hailstones followed immediately by a simultaneous flash of lightening and a single clap of thunder. Global Warming??