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Although this fact may not have occurred to American journalists, living in monolingual paradise, it’s hard choosing names in a global market where everything means something bad to someone, somewhere.

Nokia’s model Lumia means prostitute in Spanish in usage documented extremely sporadically in the 19th and first half of the 20th century. Cela, inevitably, used it somewhere, but I’d be surprised if any more later finds were made, or that the word were known to more than approximately thirty living Spanish speakers before today.

Thomas Wilfred was a lumia artist in the mid-20th century, but he was thinking of lights with no girls beneath them (etymology?), and no one really cared.

In 1614, says Pedro Morejón, the inhabitants of the Japanese village Obama tortured and cut the noses off four Christians, of whom two perished immediately and the others survived miraculously after being exposed on the beach without sustenance. No one thinks the US president should resign.

And so on and so forth.

Still, it’s better than trying to think seriously about the Merkel plan.

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