Make the Gaffer Redundant!

I joined the meeting late and took refuge on a tiny Ottoman footstool as this serious-looking group of working class radicals met in the back of a pub, somewhere in Birmingham, England.  It was proposed that they crash a speech by Labour “life peer” and union fat cat Baroness Margaret Prosser. 

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Brassed Off

Word Fun: Issue No. 3

This one comes from Bill Bryson’s The Mother Tongue: English and How it Got that Way.  Below is a list of British terms that Bryson, writing in 1990, challenges his mostly American audience to identify. 

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Provisions en Français

I was ringing groceries, provisions, the other day and had a fantastic little exchange en français.  To resume my French studies, left to decompose after high school, I started with learning how to say the various robot phrases that we, as caissiers and caissières, have to repeat to customers un mille times throughout the day.  I would try one phrase out on a French-speaking customer and then ask them how to say another phrase.  In this manner, my répertoire would grow with each transaction.

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Danza Negra

Danza Negra

The following poem is a rhythmic song that’s going to be a really fun piece.  First, we are going to learn how to sing the song or poem using a certain cadence.  Second, we will read the poem in that manner.  Following this, you can read my translation.  In translating the poem, I employed my beginner level Spanish skills as well as a heavy dose of artistic license. We will discuss my word choices and interpretation and your preferences in the commentary.  Lastly, there’s a word about what I know of the origins of the poem and my perspective on the subject.

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