For El País user blogs’ sole function is to drum up page views for its paid-for content, and not all of them are to be taken entirely seriously. This was rather like listening to a person with dementia who may have something interesting to say but has lost control of words and syntax:
This afternoon they have begun news that have startled me to arise and they have put on in guard man I hoped to eat paella tomorrow Thursday but he/she didn’t wait that today gives us a snack to go opening mouth.
I tried asking how and why, partly to see if the whole thing is robot-generated, but the answer left me none the wiser.
- He would an elegy compose / On maggots squeez’d out of his nose
Samuel Butler on a writer of doggerel.
- Convergent etymology: paella / pilau
The other day in the London City out of scientific interest I ate from a hipster stall a portion of /pʌɪˈɛlə/. It wasn’t paella – it looked and tasted like sewage sludge, black, oily, foul – but I couldn’t work out (and didn’t dare ask) what method had led to this madness.
A couple of days
- Der Führer and I: misinterpretation as a smart career move
Unprofessional Translation, one of the most interesting translation blogs out there, has introduced me to a wonderful anecdote, which apparently comes from the German original of Dolmetscher der Diktatoren (1963), the memoirs of the Eugen Dollmann, the protagonist. Here‘s the late American investigative journalist, Robert Katz:
Dollmann had spent the past decade in Italy. As a young scholar
- The Sultan’s organ
Howard Goodall runs a good organ miscellania page here, of which the Sultan and Elizabeth I organ donation anecdote was one of the few useful pieces of information I learnt as a child. Peter English over at Aramco has more:
The Grand Signor then commanded for silence. All being quiet, the clock struck twenty-two hours followed