Monday, May 29, 2017

Thoughts from Galicia: 29.5.17

Spanish life is not always likeable but it is compellingly loveable.
- Christopher Howse: A Pilgrim in Spain
Life in Spain:-
  • Here's a huge surprise . . . Local phone-call prices might rise after EU phone companies have to drop roaming charges after 15 June. I believe Vodaphone is one of the few companies - possibly the only one - which haven't waited until the last possible moment to do this.
  • Fotos of the end-of-term dinners in the local press have reminded me of the time I saw one such celebration in Salamanca and - given the elegance of the young women - mistook if for a beauty contest.
  • I might be behind the times here but it seems that jumping fitness is the latest craze for making you fitter, leaner, healthier, etc., etc. This 'dynamic fitness training system' is called merely el jumping here. Another gerund invented or mis-used. As in el parking, el lifting, el footing, etc.
  • Which reminds me . . . When I went to Vigo last week, only about 3% of the de-training passengers walked up the stairs from the platform. The rest crowded onto the escalator. No wonder they need a bloody trampoline to get fit.
So, doubtless to national disappointment, Fernando Alonso didn't win yesterday's Indy 500, after his engine failed not long before the finish. The winner was actually Japanese but I would guess most Brits don't know that the most successful drivers there of the last 20 years have been compatriots of theirs. The race doesn't figure in sports news in the UK, any more than it did here before Alonso got involved.

Mrs Merkel is said to think that the EU must give up on collaboration with the Anglos and rely on itself. Whatever is said about the Franco-German axis, this would inevitably be under de facto German leadership . Come to think of it, perhaps 'axis' is a word that should be steered well clear of as Germany gets stronger and stronger. And as, under French pressure, an EU military force is built up.

The best comment I've read about Donald Trump's hilarious trip around the Middle East and Europe is that: As the world’s worst tourist, he at least he makes Brits abroad look better. The columnist added: He's been the very picture of a bad tourist gone feral. He’s the worst person you’ve ever met abroad. Everything Trump has done since leaving the comfort of the US has been astonishing, almost as if the Russians have paid him to create a bonk-headed one-man library of gifs designed to denigrate all travelling Americans. With every breath of his trip, Trump has managed to carve out an image of a terrified old man several leagues out of his depth. Anyone disagree?

I recently had the experience - when booking a flight - of 2 or 3 price increases as I went back and forth. I knew this happened but today I learned it's due to the cookies. So, can it be avoided by deleting these after each enquiry??

Finally . . . Here in Pontevedra province, there's said to be a higher than normal incidence of multiple sclerosis. Wondering if this might be because of the high levels of natural radon from all our granite, I did a bit of net research. Sure enough, some people believe there certainly is. Others, as ever, say the jury is still out.

Today's cartoon:-

Corporate Spain?


Sierra said...

Not sure of your source for sports news, but all the UK newspaper websites I've read have reports on the Indy 500 (is it true it was invented to make Formula 1 look interesting?).

The cookies will also get you if you return too many times to Amazon websites

Alfred B. Mittington said...

Well, I would not wish to disagree with a linguistic prodigy like you, faithful disciple of Mr Kamm… But it is my humble impression that the words ending on -ing are actually participles in English, then used a (nominal) gerunds in Spanish. Why I wonder, would that be so wrong?


Colin Davies said...

@Alfie: The Wiki definition: Gerund is a term for a verb form that functions as a noun. Although similar in usage to verbal noun, the two terms are not synonymous as gerund retains properties of a verb while verbal noun does not; in English this is most evident in the fact that a gerund can be modified by an adverb and can take a direct object. The term "-ing form" is often used in English to refer to gerund specifically. Traditional grammar made a distinction within -ing forms between present participles and gerunds, a distinction that is not observed in such modern linguistically-informed grammars as A Comprehensive Grammar of the English Language and The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language.

But, really, who TF cares? Apart from you that is.

@Sierra. Yes, this year - because of Alonso. But I personally can't recall eny coverage in earlier years, except when Nigel Mansell took part. And won, as I recall. I bet not mamny of the British public can give you the name of the Scot who has won it 4 or 5 times in the last 10 years.

Alfred B. Mittington said...

My dear boy,

YOU - not I - started off with an objection against 'El Parking' etc etc etc. When Spaniards use 'parking' as such, they obviously use 'parking' as a noun. In which case it is indeed a gerund. While in English it is a participle (as in 'Parking Lot').

But what I find most fascinating is that you - who despise and reject all grammars - would shore up your mistaken opinion with references to… Hahahahahaha… Grammars!

Mr Kamm would be ashamed of you! You are such a stickler, and an elitist!


Colin Davies said...

you - who despise and reject all grammars

Like to provide evidence? What i reject is your pedantic approach to English grammar.

Perry said...



Oh for an n of pyre that would suspend. The very pendantic approach to Grammatidae!


Oh, for a muse of fire that would ascend. The brightest heaven of invention!

Colin Davies said...

Perry,Go here for some eminent common sense on the subject.

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