It may slowly be dawning on even Zapatero, with his great Alliance of Civilisations, that the road to الجحيم is paved with good intentions. A recent post here found Hebrew characters ordered back-to-front, and, perhaps to demonstrate evenhandedness in Spanish treatment of Semites, last week Zapatero’s communications staff struck back with some arse-over-tit Arabic. Moeh Atitar de la Fuente has the story.
My personal theory is that the hippy chapter of the Illuminati have commissioned double agent José Luis to encourage the Middle Easterns to write left to right, right to left, or both ways at once, in order to sow relativism, a commodity historically in short supply in the region, or perhaps simply confusion.
John F. Healey writes in The early alphabet that:
Some early Greek and South Arabian texts are written boustrophedon … – like an ox ploughing a field: from left to right in the first line, right to left in the second, left to right in the third and so on (or starting on the right in the first line). In such inscriptions the letters are often reversed to face the direction of writing.
Perhaps someone like Eli Sagan has already argued that the anarchy in West Asiatic scriptal direction three thousand years ago was somehow a necessary precursor to the centuries of intense fixed-direction creative achievement that followed, and then that the childish tendency to draw letters back to front and upside down whilst learning to write is also a necessary precursor to subsequent creativity, once the system is mastered.
˙ʇuǝıɔıɟɟns ǝʇınb sı ǝɯıʇ ɐ ʇɐ ɐǝpı pɐɯ ǝuo ǝɯ ɹoɟ
- Taking the peace? Catalan village writes Shalom backwards
A few months back I posted about Barcelona Council’s totemistic approach to foreign languages. Here, from CataloniaWatch, is another brilliant example: “shalom” transcribed backwards. Candide writes:
this pic is from a parc in a town near the catalan pyrenees cuyo nombre no quiero recordar.
obviously, the “author” of this “work” looked up “peace” in hebrew letter by
- More evidence that Barcelona Council doesn’t give a fuck about German
In order to get walkers down from the carpark exit from Park Güell a tourist superhighway is being constructed along what used to be a nostalgic dogshit alley. To enliven the concrete a Gaudí quote is repeated in languages starting with Arabic and ending with Catalan that “Everything comes from the great book of Nature.” …
- New directors of Instituto Cervantes in New York and Dublin “can’t speak English”
Javier Rioyo Jambrina and Rosa León will apparently struggle to make themselves understood to their target audience in their new jobs. But then their boss, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, has spent the last 7 years demonstrating that you don’t need English (or even particularly elegant Spanish) to triumph in the international arena. It surely can’t be …
- Buy your knives from Quttin, with thoughts on final /g/s and a poem by Ambrose Bierce
The latest pseudo-anglicism to cheer my bedraggled brain comes from a 20-year-old Albacete knife manufacturer. (See also camping, parking, lifting, shampooing, footing, and Wikipedia.) I like the dropped /g/, which interestingly goes against a trend in Andaluz and increasingly in other versions of Spanish to add a terminal /g/ to words previously ending in /n/. …