Saturday, October 27, 2007

Nothing's simple

I wonder who it was that decided the phrase notebook computer was more apt than laptop computer. Both of them are synonymous, as far as I can tell, so why have two names? The world is full of doublings-up. Here in Spain, where we’re sojourning, there seem to be two languages running along concurrently, as there are signs in both in most places. One of the languages is concise, the other uses more words to say the same thing. I don’t know which is ‘actual’ Spanish and which is something else (such as Catalan, which seems the most likely candidate, or Galician or Basque), but perhaps I’ll find out before we leave the country.
When you come to Europe you think everything is simple and that the people who live in Spain speak Spanish, the people who live in Switzerland speak Swiss (they don’t) and the people who live in Germany speak German (they mostly do). But nothing is simple, perhaps because human beings aren’t simple, and variety is the spice of life in every department.
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