ABC and Ramón Pérez Maura are taken to task by Peter Harvey Linguist. As usual, he’s absolutely right, but I’d just like to enter a plea in mitigation on one count: “never begin a letter with ‘I'” used to be quite common advice. For example, in Correspondence, credits and traffic: Part I: Business correspondence (1914) we learn that
One of the maxims of courtesy in former days [!] used to be “Never begin a letter with I.” This is no longer regarded as a strict rule. Indeed, there are times when its observance results in awkwardness of expression.
And the injunction may still be in force in Nigeria, surely the great epistolary nation of our time. Maybe ABC – I don’t think they’ll sue if I describe them as conservative – plan to specialise in the diffusion of foreign languages as they were once spoke and writ. Pérez Maura, one of their younger writers, recently celebrated his 157th birthday.
(I understand that Merkel resents Mas’ deficit-busting use of postage stamps instead of email, but don’t let that blight your happy new year.)
- The Cali Word Games, plus a Civil War gag from Alfonso Guerra
Lenox, who has been discussing the role (roll-on, roll-off?) of Google Translate in quality public service provision, has passed along this
- Some Itanglish in a Dryden comedy
One José María Trilladas has apparently been combing the accounts of the black card looters of Caja Madrid and has discovered
- When did you born? Birth, agency and Whorfian politicology
Wine-buff Víctor de la Serna (via Carlos Ferrero) has nailed Domecq Bodegas for an amusing slip on the otherwise impeccable site,
- Artur Mas: only the filthy Spanish are stopping every Catalan owning a farm right now
In a number of posts (see below) I’ve suggested that rather than use cheap, crap human translators customers should consider free,
- Brave potatoes
Served at Café & Té in Plaça Kennedy, Barcelona. More over at Peter Harvey.