Saturday, March 03, 2007

Flying to Florida

Well, it looks as though the Brits are now buying up large less in the typical European holiday spots, and going further abroad; further, as in Florida. Yes, Florida in the States, that wonderful long peninsula that stretches down from the southern east coast like a fat finger.
I’d forgotten, until I was reading up a little on Florida, about the Florida Keys. Key West is one of them, and I thought it was also the name of a highly romantic, swash-buckling kind of movie that I saw as a child, and haven’t forgotten. But it isn’t. I thought it was a movie by Cecil B de Mille. But it wasn’t.
Anyway, all that aside, property in Florida is becoming the preferred option for lots of Brits, it seems. Brits with some cash to spare, that is, as these wonderful beach front properties aren’t quite going for a song. Still, unless you’re retiring there, you could always rent your condominium out to other fellow Brits who want a taste of the long stretches of beach, and the wonderful, warm weather. (Just don’t tell them that Florida also gets a lot more lightning than most places in the US. Still, lightning, as they say, never strikes twice, so they should safe enough!).
Condominium always strikes me (since we’re talking about strikes) as a most odd word – even odder that we should have it in the language when most people chop it down to condo. And now there’s another portmanteau word: dockominium, which is the water-based version of a condominium. However, rather than owning an apartment in a building, one owns a boat slip on the water.
A docko? Hmm, it doesn’t quite have the ring of a condo.
You’re going to ask me where the word, condominium, first came from, aren’t you? I’m going to tell you, anyway, since I was curious enough to look it up. According to the Online Entymology Dictionary, it dates from around 1714, and was apparently coined in Germany from com- "together" + dominum "right of ownership." It remained as a word in politics and international law until the sense of "privately owned apartment" arose in American English as a special use of the legal term, in 1962. The abbreviated form ‘condo’ was first recorded 1964.
There you go. All you wanted to know.
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