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.

Sweet broom

Here’s an old foreshadow–give or take the odd sacrifice–of a recent nocturnal trip in the English translation by Grace Frick of Yourcenar’s Hadrian: A few days before the departure from Antioch I went to offer sacrifice, as in other years, on the summit of Mount Casius. The ascent was made by night; just as for…

More thrilling Barcelona police action

In the communal hallway two Moroccans are hard at work extracting objects of value from a rucksack–they’ve got a mobile, cash, documents. I go into the flat, phone the generic emergency number, 112, and clock-watch. 00:50 A woman picks up and says hallo like she just woke up. –Hello, I say, there are two thieves…

Unexpected finds

A couple of days back, Mr O sent me a list of URLs, none of which is quite as radical as it may first appear to a number of you: http://www.cummingfirst.com http://www.expertsexchange.com http://www.penisland.org http://www.scatissue.com http://www.childsexpress.com http://www.teacherstalk.co.uk http://www.budget.co.ck http://www.therapistfinder.com I commented that they were seriously undervalued, rather as http://burger.com would be if used to promote civic…

Spanish omelette trick

From John Henry Pepper, The Playbook of Metals: Including Personal Narratives of Visits to Coal, Lead, Copper, and Tin Mines; With a Large Number of Interesting Experiments Relating to Alchemy and the Chemistry of the Fifty Metallic Elements (The Author reserves the right of translation) (London, 1861), chapter entitled The Tricks of the Alchemists: Another…

Introducing the flamenco police…

It seems that the subnormal baboons who pass for constitutional lawyers in Spain’s regions have smuggled an article into the new Andalusian regional statute declaring knowledge of flamenco the exclusive right of the autonomous community. Although the declaration does have the potential advantage of ending embarrassing arguments about whether flamenco is gypsy or Moorish heritage,…

The humourless German, © German nationalists

This is re Margaret’s post re Stewart Lee’s. The first references I know to the stereotype are not British but are to be found in the early German romantics. They note (1), as does Lee, the various expressive possibilities afforded by various languages; (2) the failure of German writers to exploit these former to the…

Corny or not?

At one point in Marcel Carné’s 1939 realist drama (and Mussolini Cup nominee), Le jour se lève, François, the factory sand-blaster (Bulletin of the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics. no. 379, 1925: “probably the most dangerous of all the mineral-dust hazards”), enters a variety hall where Françoise, his beloved, is preparing to make eyes…