Candela’s Law

Amando de Miguel notes the commonsensical notion that two people will tend to speak the language that supposes the least combined effort for them (all other things being equal), and proposes naming this law for his correspondent, Candela Zamora. You all know what a candela is, of course.

De Miguel refers in the same piece to Can Seixanta, the C18th textile factory in Barcelona’s Raval district, which, according to Joan Amades (Històries i Llegendes de Barcelona) was so-called (in one version) because the numbers of the front doors behind which it lurked were 18, 20 and 22, which add up to seixanta, 60. This (allegedly) chaotic business may have been the source of the use of the expression “Can Seixanta/Xixanta” to indicate a ruinous or unmanageable situation.

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