Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Driving in Spain; Granada; Blood flow; Parsee joke; Dutch ladies; Cartoons; Fonetic spelling; & An announcement

The August holiday month is looming. So, how are the Spanish police preparing for it? As part of a 'safety' campaign, they're doubling radar traps on both major and minor roads. If they're lucky, this should provide a decent increase in government revenue. But far be it for me to suggest this is the main objective.

Says Giles Tremlett, author of The Ghosts of Spain: "The residents of Granada are not always keen to recognise it, but a century and half must pass before their city can claim to have been Christian for longer than it was a place where, principally, Mohammed was revered."

Also from Tremlett: "When the Moors' occupation of Spain was in its death throes one of the worst battles was in the Gully of Blood. Legend has it the blood of the Christian soldiers flowed uphill in order not to mix with the Moorish, crypto-Islamic blood of the Moriscos." As if. 

And now, just for my young, but bald, friend Jack . . . Here, belatedly, is the promised Parsee joke. The backcloth is that not only are the Parsees reducing in numbers but also the vultures who feed off the corpses left in their famous Towers of Silence. So . . . A Parsee cleric receives a telegram from his friend elsewhere in Pakistan: "Have seen vulture in our area. Please send dead Parsee soonest!" Well, I laughed anyway. If only because it's the sort of black humour I enjoy. Other tastes may differ. But nobody's perfect. 

Anyway, should either of them read this, I just want to thank the 2 Dutch ladies for giving my friend Jon and I the best night we've had for a long time that didn't involve . . . well, you know. Until they went berserk, that is, and got us thrown out of my favourite bar. Which didn't use to have a dance floor made out of 6 tables. I do hope none of their pupils ever sees even the fotos I posted. Never mind the ones on my hard drive. 

For those who haven't already seen them, here are my Private Eye cartoons of the fortnight:

And, finally, speaking of language . . . Wud it reely bee so hard to cheynj Inglish speling so it beecums fonetic, lyk Spanish? Wee wud then bee abel to reed Chaucer. And meybee Shakespeare a bit beter. Or at leest get rid of orl the redundant leters in Inglish, such as in the werds 'dumb', 'numb' and 'comb', which are very confoosing to foreners. Just a thort. 

Or, putting this into Dutch, . . . Wid ot raaly by zo khard tu cheynj Inglish spileeng zo dat eet beecums fonatiq, lyk Speneesh? Vee woood den bee abal tu rid Chaucer. Und mybi Shakespeare un beet biter. Ur at list ghet rad offf orl de ridandunt littirs en Inglish, soooch az en des oerds 'dumb', 'numb' and 'comb', vich arr veri convusing to farinirs. Jooost ein dort. 

BTW . . . This is my last post from Spain; I'm moving to Holland tomorrow. Having mastered the language in a day. And being impressed by Dutch women.


Barcelona's Singing Organ-Grinder said...

A boy at Sault Ste. Marie
Said, “To spell I will not agree
Till they learn to spell ‘Soo’
Without any u
Or an a or an l or a t.”

Colin Davies said...

Nice, Trevor. Ta.

Alfred B. Mittington said...

Ay, your language skills are at least as weak as your arithmetic and your sense of history….

Let me see:

1. Granada has presently been Christian for 523 years. It used to be Muslim a little less than 800. But of course, it was Christian some three centuries before the Muslims took it. So I think it's pretty much even…

2. Although it obviously does a lot better than English, Spanish is not (fully) phonetic either. See the Z and the C before the e and i, for instance.

3. You phonetic version of English is neither phonetic nor consistent. Why is there a C at the end of f-o-n-e-t-i-c but a k at the end of lyk? Why is Chaucer not Tjowser, by the by? Why is Shakespeare not Sjekspeer? Why do we get the Liverpool 'r' in 'all' and 'thought'? And if we start to spell 'phonetically', what will we do with all those poor people who do not speak the Queen's English? Will there be an Academy which decides what dialect of the language is the 'correct' one? Do you really think this would be an improvement? Get a book on phonetics, yu owf !

4. Your phonetic rending of that English sentence with what you suppose to be the Dutch alphabet is… is… REMARKABLE, let us say. It is obvious that you were engaged in other activities than language exchange with them two Dutch dames….

5. I AM MOVING TO HOLLAND TOMORROW, AND THAT PLACE IS BY FAR TOO SMALL FOR THE TWO OF US! So stay away. Go to Belgium. They speak your sort of Dutch there. If it deserves the honorable name of 'speaking'.


Colin Davies said...

How can I put this politely? Oh, yes. Fuck off to Holland and keep it to yourself. I have decided to bring Dutch women - perhaps all of them - to Spain.

Alfred B. Mittington said...

Ow, you are absolutely welcome to bring all Dutch women to Spain! One generation, and the place will be uninhabited, and a horrible gin drinking stinking-raw-fish eating bicycle-riding nation will be gentle swept from the face of the earth. Without bloodshed.


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