Throwing nutters

One Mangalorean is a betel-nut seller.
Two Mangaloreans can’t stand one another.
Three Mangaloreans is a Udupi restaurant.
Four Mangaloreans is a fanatical Konkani Sabha.

Petition in favour of Spanish@Brussels

Not surprisingly, translators and interpreters and “personnel of international organisations” (not budget-hungry Eurocrats, surely?) constitute the largest groups of publicly acknowledged signatories of this call to wage war on mounting European institutional mono- and trilingualism (English, French, German) and promote the language of Julio Iglesias. (Via Carlos Ferrero.)

Dutchmen and Dagos

Captain Kettle, the British Library Online Newspaper Archive and our fellow-Europeans.

Government by orifice

The ongoing Catalan construction corruption hooha in a nutshell, from the first contractor to turn king’s evidence: “Your friends take you up the arse, you take your enemies up the arse, and you apply existing legislation to the rest.”

More tongues

Crocodiles have no tongue; frogs have half, because it’s backwards, attached at the front and free at the back; men have one, the best of all, because with it they speak all languages and imitate every animal, as the philosopher Archidamos said; sea foxes [raposas marinas] have two, as I have said; women have three, because they talk with their mouth and with their fingers and heart, and their tongues are rough and sharp, like those of cats and leopards.

Bilingual betrayal

Rodrigo Fernández de Santaella, Vocabulario eclesiástico (1499) says that a bilingual person is one who sings a different song depending on his location or conversational partner, a two-tongued [serpent]: Bilinguis y hoc bilingüe. quien dize vno aqui otro alli o vno a este y otro a aquel. E por esso se dize que tiene dos…


Is a killer that sounds pretty 70s, but is apparently newish. Over at Eric “Babe” Morse’s Subjunctivitis.


I added Mithridates to Langwich Sandwich. One recent post links to a North American language called Mi’kmaq, while another includes an interesting bunch of sites related to the Pennsylvania Dutch. If the latter were Dutch in the modern sense, and if they lived anywhere near the Mi’kmaq, then it would still make little sense to…

“Death of Romansh”

A frequently heard complaint re regional nationalists like our bunch is that they play the diversity card to central government while rigidly suppressing variety, principally of a linguistic nature, in their own backyard. Here (via Onze Taal) is an example of the kind of thing they use to justify this stance: the lingering death of…


A Spanish friend once freaked me by referring to what Follow The Baldie does as “footing“. De Standaard’s language blog says that in Spanish the term refers to walking/rambling, while the Royal Academy definition approximates to “jogging” (a point on which the Italians seem to agree) and has the word arriving via the French, who…