Misdeed and identity in the Indian Ocean

La Vanguardia, 2008/4/21: “Piratas somalíes secuestran un atunero vasco. El ‘Playa de Bakio’ lleva 26 tripulantes, trece africanos, ocho gallegos y cinco vascos. Anoche, una fragata española acudía desde el mar Rojo a auxiliar al barco.” Victims from north of the Mediterranean are dissimilated on the basis of their autonomous community, while victims from the south are assimilated to mysterious ole Africa. Pirates and frigates on the other hand have nationality, which we shouldn’t automatically assume means that La Vanguardia thinks that both are bad, although not the Basque Country or Galicia but “Spain and France are also important tuna fishing countries, with their ships fishing primarily in the Indian Ocean.”

[Reading Philip Gosse’s fascinating The pirates’ who’s who, it is astounding to discover how many of the Barbary pirates were born English, or Welsh, or whatever. This reminds me of this post on the etymology of pidgin, which I never followed up, which offence I may remedy as soon as the Chinese leave me in peace.]

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