The perejil shibboleth

“Is it true about the parsley, Your Excellency? That to distinguish Dominicans from Haitians you made all the blacks say perejil? And the ones who couldn’t pronounce it properly had their heads cut off?”
“I’ve heard that story.” Trujillo shrugged. “It’s just idle gossip.”

Indians and the Welsh

There certainly are similarities between the languages spoken by the Welsh and the Indians, but these particularly Indians don’t live in Asia. You see, the Welsh discovered America. (Is the tale of Robin Hood and Indian Dark an echo of this? Should Malcolm Muggeridge have said that the last Welshman would be an Indian? I…

Guiris and Phoenicians

“And as we find in a book of laws called Digesto that city used to be called Guiris because it was created by Garfeus, son of Canaan and grandson of Noah.”

Another etymology of “Spain”

Re Cuniculandia, the Wikipedia Phoenicia article currently says that “the name Spain comes from the Phoenician word Sapan, which means ‘that which is hidden’.”

Expelled for school for using wrong alphabet

Another book I’d like to get hold of: Industrias y andanzas de Alfanhuí by (1951) Rafael Sánchez Ferlosio, apparently “the story of a boy who is kicked out of school for writing in an unintelligible alphabet.” It cannot possibly have been as bad as Rotor, but teachers were probably stricter then.

On yer bike

The polls are fine, but Blair secretly expects to lose: he now has an official spokes-man. (OK, so you’ve never heard of Norman Tebbit.)

Language education obligations

To underpin their advertising pitch many webmasters use simple devices to fake the number of visitors on their site and the number of click-thrus to other sites. Nationalist crazy Francesc Ferrer’s approach is simpler: every page on his blog says it has been visited 10 times. Yesterday’s entry recounts the prosecution of some kids from…

Housing shortage

Here‘s a free translation of a verse sung door-to-door by caramelles in Sant Cugat on Easter Sunday of 1948: “Neither house nor home here for lots of folk./This overcrowding’s getting past a joke.” The Andalusians who arrived here in the 20s built themselves cave and shack homes on the margins of Montjuïc, and many were…