X reports that his mother-in-law cannot understand the concept of el Amigo Invisible (Surprise Santa/lootjes trekken voor pakjesavond):
–How can it work, she asks, if Juan gives to José and José doesn’t give him anything back?
–Try thinking of it as a circle. Juan gives to José gives to Jaime gives to Julio gives to Juan.
–But what if Julio doesn’t give Juan anything (you know what he’s like) and no one knows who he was?
Y: This inability to distinguish ideas from objects is why Africa is generally unable to build modern social institutions. All development aid to both Africa Citerior and Ulterior should be funnelled into teaching Amigo Invisible until the population acquires basic proficiency. Have you read Alexander Luria eg Cognitive development?
Z: Hang on, Julio is a mean bastard.
- “Family,s rock”, the world’s first recorded greengrocers’ comma?
Should definitely be an apostrophe, dudes: I’m pretty sure I’ve actually seen this before, in both Hispano- and Anglophone environments.
- Catalunya already independent
Wait, let me check that.
- The true origins of “Africa begins at the Pyrenees”
This deeply resented peripheralising aphorism was coined not by Alexander Dumas but by Dominique Dufour de Pradt or conceivably the Conde
- How Dutch was Nieuw-Nederland?
Mark Liberman points to an article by Laura Durnford on the Radio Netherlands World Service site which describes how the C17th
- In which the Catalan authorities ask me to do something in Spanish rather than English
Actually, I’d better not go into the details, but it’s all most curious. Until you recall that the vast majority of