Monday, March 06, 2017

Pontevedra Pensées: 6.3.17

Here's a bit of comforting news for we expats here in Spain. I wonder what the criteria are and how they're weighted.

When I was about to switch on the washing machine at midday yesterday, I vaguely recalled reading that, here in Spain (assuming anyone understands anything about how your bill is calculated), what you pay for your electricity depends on the price in the energy market at the time you consume it. So, the advice was to use it at non-peak hours, when the demand would be less and the price lower. Maybe. Anyway, back in the UK I had two meters, one for peak periods and one for off-peak periods but I doubt they do that any more there. The question is . . . Can anyone in Spain or Galicia confirm that one benefits from using machines at, say, midnight? Or is that a peak hour in Spain? If so, when isn't? 4pm??

Talking of prices . . . . That old bugbear – car insurance in Pontevedra province. Not, it seems, the highest in Spain. But almost. If a driver lives in Pontevedra, the premium would come out at a typical €439 a year for third-party cover - €229 more than the same policy for the same driver living in the southern Aragón province of Teruel, where motor insurance is the cheapest in the whole of Spain. Click here for more on this. But not for an explanation of why we are shafted.

And here's another question for those living in Spain – Ever heard of Amazon Premium? No, neither had I until I saw a €20 debit to my credit card this morning. As of now, I can find no evidence that I signed up for this. 

When it comes to speaking Welsh, there's a major divide  between North and South Wales. In the former, it's widespread – as I know from spending many summer holidays there – but in the anglicised latter much less so. Need I say that the Welsh nationalists – understandably – want to change this and have made the learning of the language - in various degrees - compulsory throughout the country. Even for the kids of those (Welsh) parents who don't want this for them. Their only way to stop this is to vote in the party who says they'll reverse the law. And then the issue of language will become a political potato for this party. And things will go backwards and forwards every 5 to 10 years. Just as it does here in Galicia. One wonders how the kids gain from this.

A final question . . . Do young un-castrated cats disappear for days on end? I'm a bit annoyed that - after I went to the trouble of putting in a cat door for the one who adopted me months ago – he now seems to have pissed off.

Finally . . . This is a foto of the window of the supermarket in which last year I used to buy the turrón they had left over from Xmas 2015. It cost either €1.80 or €1.90, depending on the wind. But now I see it's only €1.00. So, which Xmas is this lot left over from, I ask myself.

17 comments:

Alfred B. Mittington said...



How DO YOU DO IT ??????

The FIRST sentence and you manage to insert a grammar mistake ???????

The preposition 'for' brings out the dative/accusative case, you linguistic baboon!

WrathfAl

Colin Davies said...

GEt out of the bloody 19th century, you pedantic old fool. English usage it as the command of the masses, whether you (or I) like it.

Sierra said...

Amazon Premium is the Spanish equivalent of the UK Amazon Prime - main benefit in Spain is free delivery on Amazon goods. On their website at the top right there is a drop-down marked "Mi Premium", which gives details. Amazon Prime in UK includes their TV streaming service and costs £79/year

Sierra said...

Wouldn't you need a "smart" meter to have different prices of electricity throughout the day?
They are being installed throughout Spain with completion planned for 2018:

http://www.healthplanspain.com/blog/expat-tips/361-smart-meters-in-spain-roll-out-to-be-completed-by-2018.html

Anthea said...

We found lurselves mysteriouslly "signed up" for Amazon Prime in a similar fashion. It must be an examp,e of inertia selling.

As regards the grammar, sorry, but "for we" is just wrong and, besides, it sound pretentious and would-be posh!

Maria said...

Un-castrated cats might spend upwards of a week walking the streets, looking for invitations. He'll come back when hunger overtakes him, unless he finds a steady source of food. Then his return is up in the air.

Colin Davies said...

@Anthea: À Chacun Son Goût. To I/me, 'us expats' sounds ugly. And euphony is all that matters these days - what 'sounds' good. Invented Latinate rules of the 19th century don't do it for me. Says me. Or I, as you prefer. Read Oliver Kamm's articles/book.

Eamon said...

I have storage heaters in my flat and so I have a meter with two readouts. Cheap rate starts at 10 pm and finishes the next day at 12 noon. The clock on the meter doesn't change for summer time so in summer it still starts at 10 pm on the meter clock which is 11 on summer time and switches back to normal service at 1 pm giving me more cheap time in the morning to use the washing machine. Normal service is very expensive and seems to be charged by the hour depending on where the electricity is coming from. Regarding the Amazon Premium you must click that you don't want the free delivery otherwise you are then opted into the premium service which is free for 30 days. Should you wish to cancel the service you have to do it before the end of the 30 days or you will get billed for a year because they won't send you a reminder that your 30 days is coming to a close.

Eamon said...

"Colin - to and for are followed by a subject not an object. To we and for we is incorrect. It is to us and for us. Don't be fooled by that copula verb "is" in here is which never takes a direct object. For example: it is we expats etc. not it is us expats.

Eamon said...

oops correction that should read by an object not a subject

Lenox said...

I also found I'd been billed by Amazon. Tricking us old guffers. It ain't right.

kraal said...

Thought it was just a typo for wee expats.

Eamon said...

@kraal - Colin has an Irish background and we Irish are also very stubborn and once we set our mind on something it is very hard to change us. Here is some more on that we expats. Colin has probably used the expression before but didn't realize why. Example - Here's a bit of comforting news for "we expats" here in Spain. For is a preposition so "we" must be written as subject us. Make the sentence into two. Here`s a bit of comforting news. We expats here in Spain are going to be happy. Join the two sentences using "for" as a conjunction. Here`s a bit of comforting news for we expats here in Spain are going to be happy. Voila! We expats is now correct.

Phil Adams said...

I'm a trained linguist with an MA in Linguistics. I try to view matters of grammar usage objectively. I thought at first this use of "for we" was quite an interesting phenomenon but I've changed my mind. It seems to me to be a fairly routine case of pronoun confusion, caused by what is known in the trade as "hypercorrection", which is: "the substitution, in an inappropriate context, of a pronunciation, grammatical form, or usage, thought by the speaker or writer to be appropriate, resulting usually from overgeneralizing in an effort to replace seemingly incorrect forms with correct ones, as the substitution of 'between you and I' for 'between you and me', by analogy with 'you and I' as the subject of a sentence. [ http://www.dictionary.com ]

Students learning English as a foreign language are taught to employ a shortcut when they are unsure about whether to say, e.g. "we expats" or "us expats"; in this case the shortcut would be simply this: remove the word "expats" - what would you use in that event? One would surely not say "among we", so in current standard English one would not say "among we expats".

But in language, usage always wins eventually over convention, so who knows, in a century or so Colin's unconventional pronoun usage might well have become the norm!

Colin Davies said...

I know the rules and the short cuts. I didn't 'overcorrect'. I went with what sounded better to me, since I regard the rules of English to be more flexible than some think. Oliver Kamm, not Simon Heffer.

I place most importance on euphony and what is determined by custom and practice, there being no Academy to insist of what Kamm regards as a 19th century attempt to introduce Latin-based rules into English.

I'm not convinced that, if we asked 100 intelligent friends to instantaneously choose between " . . . comforting news for we expats" of ' . . . comforting news for us expats", more than 50% of them would go with the latter.

Especially after noting the general ignorance of Homer in my recent exercise . . .

So, I doubt it would take a hundred years for my preference to predominate.

Eamon said...

Colin you are just living up to your "curmudgeonly" promise as listed at the top of the blog. By the way I expect you to use the rules you were taught in English grammar as a good example to us older folk. I have grade eight level in English grammar which is equivalent to the education UK pupils had just before their eleven plus exam so I am no real expert.

Colin Davies said...

Well, it's true I was taught the rules of grammar, Eamon, but neither of my daughters was. And their generation wasn't taught punctuation either it seems. At least not in state schools. Don't know what happens these days. But seem to recall my English Language-teaching daughter was discouraged from correcting spelling mistakes

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