Victorian style guide

Walton Burgess’ Five Hundred Mistake [sic] of Daily Occurrence in Speaking Pronouncing and Writing the English Language (1873) sounds interesting ;-)

Experiment = experience?

Experiment and experience both come from the Latin experiri. In Spanish experiencia can be used as a synonym for experimento–I think this is particularly true of the pre-C20th language–and something tells me I’ve read nineteenth century English in which the same applies. Experiential evidence is, however, in short supply. Regrettably, this is often the case…

Fatwa nut bar

Cat in Rabat has a hilarious post re continuing attempts by beards in Morocco and elsewhere to make us dress up silly and prevent us from inspecting each others’ fatwans and stuff.

El País macht Arbeit

In reporting the Pope’s visit to Auschwitz, Lola Galán puts in overtime to come up with a curious translation of the German School Association’s most famous pick-me-up slogan, “Arbeit macht frei”: “El trabajo nos hace libres”, “Work makes us free”, which carries a rather different load to the more literal and linguistically perfectly acceptable “El…

Monday vomit

El Figaro “in private” with someone called Zhang Ziyi: “At what moment were you most happy? I cherish every day that passes. Each day offers something new, something different. I’m very happy at the moment.” It gets worse before it gets over.

South Asian words in Spanish and Catalan

Doosra, the other one, will without doubt join the many other South Asian terms gracing English dictionaries if the sublime Murali hangs in there for a while. The only sub-continental word I can think of in standard Spanish and Catalan dictionaries is the Tamil-derived curry. Tandoori and henna are prime candidates for addition. Hindú comes…

Troubled agents

Next we’ll be told Arnold Otegi is a secret member of the Ávila PP.