Istanbul is sinking

Disturbing news for those of you following the progress of a certain member of the Spanish delegation to a conference in the land of the Turk.

Bollocks to grammar

The Guardian has tracked down the British Labour Party’s deputy leader and leading pugilist, John Prescott.

Pope Gordon Bennett

Otto von Pope is known as Benet in Catalan. His friends here call him Gordon. (Brendan D Lynch’s Triumph of the Red Devil: The Irish Gordon Bennett Cup Race 1903 claims, however, that the roots of the English exclamation “Gordon Bennett!” lie in the dubious commercial practices of Irish hoteliers.)

Translation bidding systems

Re Céline’s post here attacking bidding systems on translation sites: I’m sure cranky old Mr Smith would be delighted to see that people of the same trade have not yet given up meeting together for merriment and diversion, the conversation ending in a conspiracy against the public and in contrivances to raise prices.

Saint George "too Spanish"

Catalanista writer, Jordi Coca, has figured out a good PR stunt for this year’s Sant Jordi books ‘n’ roses extravaganza: invite people round to his place (Bruc 16) to sign a petition protesting against the Hispanification and commercialisation of the day, in the course of which he’ll try to sell them his lousy books. Mr…

Official languages

There’s a lot of fuss at the moment in the land of the free about attempts to make English the official language of government. In Catalonia the 1979 statute of autonomy, responding to the political reality of a bilingual society, designated two official languages: Spanish and Catalan. Trouble, however, has arisen from the use by…

Commies and fascists

Dress code, hand signals, and messiahs apart, there were few important differences between the Falangists and the Stalinists. Hence the bizarre nature of the punchup started by the former at a PR event the other day for a book (Santos Juliá, Historia de las dos Españas) promoted by the latter. Here‘s Arcadi Espada: In a…

PNV

Interesting to note that the BBC considers “moderate” a party, the PNV, that proposes unilaterally to tear up the constitution if it wins today’s elections. (I suppose you all know the joke in which los de Lepe travel to the metropolis to register a new separatist party. So tell me the name of this new…