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AUGUST, 2007 → ← OCTOBER, 2007

‘Blew, away’ … God Hates Ireland … ¿Sabes que eres un gafudo de mierda? 29th of September, 2007 POST·MERIDIEM 09:10

Ora convivo con una’austriaca,
Abbiamo comprato un tinello marron
Ma la sera tra noi non c’è quasi dialogo
Io parlo male il tedesco, scusa, pardon,
Io non parlo il tedesco, scusami, pardon…

Paolo Conte is well known in Italy, and you’d recognise his ‘Via con me’ as a jazz standard (go watch that animated video if you speak some Spanish, it’s awesome). He mostly sings in Italian, but switches to English for stretches here and there perché è più cool.  And something that’s had me laughing today is his impressive incompetence at it in a song called ‘Blue Haway’ [sic]—not the lyrics above, they’re from another song which appealed to me because I identified with speaking German badly—where his attempt at a chorus goes ‘Blew, away, / I dreamin’ a dream / Just away / Dreamin’ a dream / Away, away, blew in far away / Blew away’. Awesome.

(Which is not to say I dislike him in general—my drinking and listening habits are those of a retired ex-military type, I’ve been told, and that I’m a huge fan of this seventy-year-old crooner is one more datum in support of that.)

In other good news, I learn that the old country has raised the ire of Fred Phelps, the well-known face of the worst-case-scenario for religious freedom; he and his Westboro Baptist Church picket funerals, theatres, pop concerts, American football games and الله knows what else, and write off their expenses for this against the tax they pay. If Phelps hates you, you’re doing something right.

Phrase of the day: ‘Cuatro ojos! Cuatro ojos! Capitán de los piojos’ is a schoolyard taunt in Spain directed at people wearing glasses.

Last comment from Ste on the 3rd of October at 10:02
That’s worked out well then...

I read it a couple of months ago while on Holiday in Italy, the wrong part of Italy admittedly, but it seemed appropriate all the same.

[Two older comments for this entry.]

—itis … Solecism 4th of September, 2007 ANTE·MERIDIEM 08:25

Today’s entry is mainly lexicographic. The –itis  suffix in medical Latin and thence in English, though etymologically only a feminine Greek ending regularly used with νόσος, ‘disease’, is often and especially used with the name of an organ or a body part to indicate inflammation of that body part. Examples are tonsilitis, appendicitis, peritonitis and I’m sure you can think of any number more

Word of the day: solecism is a fairly common English word meaning ‘infelicity of use of language’; what I didn’t know until yesterday was that its Greek root arose among Athenians to describe the language of their colonists in Σόλοι, in modern Turkey. So if you use it, consider this context of mother-country snobbishness. Which, okay, is unclear to most speakers today, but will have motivated lots of the usages of the word in the past that speakers today naturally model their usage on. The French word is le solécisme, the Spanish el solecismo, the German Fremdwort der Solözismus.