Tuesday, March 07, 2017

Pontevedra Pensées: 7.3.17

Not only in Spain: The UK police stopped a 92 year old chap who was driving down a motorway in his mobility scooter. This happened here in Galicia a few years ago. The difference being that the Spanish guy was going the wrong way on the autovia. And was on the way to a brothel.

My about-to-be-ex bank, Banco Popular/Pastor, is about to be gobbled up by one of the other major Spanish banks, according to Don Quijones here - only a year or so from acquiring Citibank's Spanish operation. I guess it makes sense to someone. Though not to DQ. Nor to me, as a matter of fact.

The Spanish language – Castellano – is phonetic. Which should make spelling rather easier than it is for, say, English or Dutch. But apparently not. There is confusion, inevitably, over the B and the
V, the C(when TH) and the Z, and the J and the G, which can be pronounced the same, respectively. And then there are the accents. But I didn't realise things were quite as bad as revealed in this article.

Reader Sierra suggests I'd need one of the new smart meters to avail myself of cheap electricity. Reader Eamon, though, advises that the cheap rate period for everyone is 10/11pm to 12/13 midday, depending on the time of year. As it happens, I have a newish meter but it doesn't look like those in this article cited by Sierra on the rollout of smart meters her in Spain.

Right on cue, a report from the UK that Smart meters are giving readings up to seven times higher than the energy consumed when connected to energy-saving light bulbs. A study conducted in the Netherlands, has found that five different types of smart meters produced readings up to 583% higher than the actual energy used. It is the first ever proof that smart meters are producing readings which are too high. No wonder they're being installed throughout Spain.

Readers Lenox and Anthea have advised that they, too, were hit by the Amazon Premium charge from Amazon Spain. Reader Eamon advises it's because they – and possibly I – opted for a free day trial back in November and didn't realise the automatic annual charge would start at the end of this period. So, a truco. This article reveals that Amazon also did this in the UK but were then stopped by the Advertising Standards Authority there. Any chance of that happening here in Spain? By the way, Amazon UK claim customers received an email advising them what would happen – see here – but, strange to relate – I can't find evidence of such an email from Amazon Spain. You can get a refund, I understand, if you haven't used the service. And maybe a partial refund even if you have. Eamon??

For a good laugh, check out this video from John Oliver on Trump's allegations against Obama.

Finally . . . Today's cartoon:


Maria said...

Spelling, that bugaboo, even with a phonetic language! I don't know the exact reasons for using one or the other, but I learned long ago, that b has a stronger sound than v, even thought they're pronounced practically the same. V used to be pronounced like in English once upon a time.

Between g and j is a matter of being followed by a vowel. Ge and Gi, have the g pronounced like the j because it's supposed to be soft, just like in English when g is followed by those same vowels and y.

There is no th in Spanish. But z, c and d sound similar. In a high school textbook I once saw the sounds explain like the th in thin.

H is weird. If two vowel wounds appear in back to back syllables in a word, an h is used to separate the syllables. Almohada is an example. The h tells you the o and a aren't a diphthong together. Then there are words that begin with h that you simply have to know the difference. One example would be hora (hour) and ora (pray).

I would understand a wish that future police officers know how to spell correctly, but filling the exam with recherché words tells me the future cops had already been chosen, and the rest were supposed to fail. Plug-in at its worst.

Sierra said...

Talking of driving (and police officers), you must watch this - the action starts after 35 seconds:


Eamon said...

Colin I have never clicked on the gratis offer and always click no before getting to the page where you confirm everything. There is a possibility that perhaps just clicking enter will get you to the final page without clicking anything about the free delivery scam. Anyone out there brave enough to try even though you don't have to accept anything till you confirm your purchase?

Alfred B. Mittington said...

Incidentally, my dear boy, every language is phonetic… You surely meant to say: its writing system??


Colin Davies said...



Alfred B. Mittington said...

T'is not my fault that your ignorance is shared by a small battalion of moon people (a.k.a. 'lunatics'), my dear boy.

Look up Phonetics on Wikipedia and you will see what I mean.


Colin Davies said...

@ABM: Stop being a pain-in-the-arse pedant and join the real world, where folk don't talk with the exactitude of an old bore like you.

On second thoughts . . . Don't try. Far too late for you. You're a hopeless case.

I would suggest you ask around among your friends but . . . .