Friday, June 05, 2015

Blatter; Greece; EU (non)growth; Odd names; Word fun; & Ponters developments.

One of the many comments about Mr Blatter - "He has 50 ideas a day, 51 one of them bad."

Greece: Our Ambrose suggests that The chorus of warnings from EMU leaders that Grexit would be ruinous for the Greeks is a negotiating ploy, or mere cant. Each of the sweeping claims made by EMU propagandists over the last twenty years has turned out to be untrue. The euro did not enhance growth, or bring about convergence, or displace the dollar as the world's reserve currency, or bind EMU states together in spirit, and refuseniks such Britain, Sweden, and Denmark did not pay a price for staying out.

Here's an interesting graph from Ambrose's article.

It's pretty clear who the winners and losers are from the Era of Austerity. Which has apparently been rather more austere for some than for others.

I've occasionally mentioned odd Spanish female names - Purgatoria and the like - but this week I happened upon a male candidate - Narciso. On this theme, HT to Lenox of Business over Tapas for this list of names that have disappeared: - For women: Urraca, Canuta, Prepedigna and Afrodisia. And, for men: Quinciano, Auxilio, Acindino, Prudenciano and Vítores. I was surprised to see Urraca, as this means 'magpie' and 'chatterbox' these days. Possibly because of the dreadful noise they make. Finally on this . . . My new (lady) doctor has the forename of Betsabé, which is new to me. But, being the Iberian version of Bathsheba, it's really as old as the hills.

Living in Galicia, one gets familiar with the different treatment in Spanish and Gallego of words which began with an F in Latin. As a rule, Spanish changes the F to an H but Gallego keeps it. As in horno/forno and a host of other duos. This week I learnt of heces and feces, both meaning, inter alia, human excrement. Or 'faeces/feces' in English. What fun.

If you're at all interested in language and words, Google has a product - Ngram - with which you could happily waste the rest of your life. I have resisted it until today but now . . .

Finally . . . Two innovations in Pontevedra:- 
1. We now have 3 divisions of the the Sunday flea-market: a. Old time stallholders; b. Local gypsies; and c. Romanian gypsies. They look down on each other in that order. 
2. Of the constant stream of new beggars, the oddest is the young man who's invented 'speed-begging'. He delivers his short spiel rapidly and doesn't wait to cajole or even plead with his eyes. Before you can blink, he's off to the next table. I wonder if it's effective.

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