Critique of John Pinkerton’s Modern geography (1807) in The Edinburgh Review: Or Critical Journal:
The original is, ‘Hay en esta cuidad unas beatas que ganan su vida ensenando [sic] a hablar a los loros,’ — i.e. by teaching parrots to speak. Mr Pinkerton has probably seen hablar in the title-page of some spelling book, and supposed that it meant grammar.
I don’t think anyone has suggested recently that parrots are able to acquire grammar in any sense. Were the True Cross beguines the only ones to earn a living training birds to talk clean?
- John Florio and Charles Cotton’s translations of Montaigne
Wading through a Francophone African legal swamp, where jurisprudence grows out of the barrel of a gun, one is reminded of
- More tongues
Crocodiles have no tongue; frogs have half, because it’s backwards, attached at the front and free at the back; men have
- Bollocks to grammar
The Guardian has tracked down the British Labour Party’s deputy leader and leading pugilist, John Prescott.
- Walking, talking sundial
Via GBS, from Chambers’s Edinburgh Journal for January to June 1844, where the original is attributed to the Emperor Trajan: Let Dick
- Cataloonies: Wales and Scotland aren’t countries, Gaelic-language media don’t count
Plus a reasonable suggestion as to how to organise consensual secession referendums.