Following up on this, here’s an interesting passage from Pérez Galdós’ Trafalgar (1873):
“But the Señorito [Nelson],” continued Half Man [an old sailor with a peg-leg], “will have lots [of ships] as well. That’s how I like my functions: lots of wood to shoot at and lots of gunpowder moke that hot [caliente] the air when it’s cold.”
I had forgotten to say that [Half Man], like almost all sailors, used a vocabulary composed of the most unusual terms, it being customary among seafolk of all countries to disfigure their native language to the point of caricature. Observing the greater part of the words used by seafarers, it will be seen that they are simply corruptions of the most common words, adapted to their fascinating and energetic temperament, always prone to abridge all of life’s functions and particularly language. Listening to them talk at times it has seemed to me that the tongue is something that gets in their way.
[Half Man], as I was saying, converted nouns into verbs and the latter into nouns, without seeking the advice of the Royal Spanish Academy. He also applied sailing vocabulary to all of life’s acts, assimilating warship with man, in virtue of a forced analogy between the parts of the one and the limbs of the other. For example, talking of the loss of his eye, he would say that the starboard gangway had closed [etc etc]
Which just goes to show that well-travelled salesmen are nothing more than the latest bunch of pechelingues.
- Catalan minister of education at LSE
Promotes law as a truth-telling device.
- London’s River Lea and Waltham Forest in Drayton’s 1622 Poly-Olbion
Now you see ’em, now you don’t.
- Suggestion for EU official language policy
Irish opposition parties are trying to stir up the nationalist vote with a proposal to get Irish (ca 0.2M fluent speakers)
- Ali Smith on literature in translation
Ali Smith (via Transblawg) makes some ill-conceived remarks in the London Times re the availability of translated literature on the UK
- Venus de Milo tribute in Villanueva y Geltrú
And what to do when those boring old marble columns get in the way of your new staircase.