Thursday, October 19, 2006

Jargon, Dingle and Darwin

It's been a while since I posted, and I thought I'd lost the details of how to do it; now I seem to have found them, so this is a bit of an experiment to see if works - sorry, Dan, if I've caused you hassle unnecessarily!

Recent Guardian article about business jargon and euphemisms:
Shortcut to:,,1921678,00.html

This next piece is about the inhabitants of the town of Dingle on the delightful peninsula with the same name, who are about to vote on a proposal to revert to the town's original Irish name, An Daingean, dropping the anglicised 'Dingle'. The town is in the Gaeltacht, that part of the country which is still Irish-speaking. I can confirm this, having been there a couple of years ago, and heard young people in bookshops and bars chatting away happily in Irish. It's a compulsory subject in all Irish schools, too, as my Irish relatives in Dublin tell me. At my college in St Austell Brian Friel's play Translations is taught on the lang and lit course; it's a modern play set in the 1830's, dealing with the issue of the British Army surveying the country and rewriting the maps with anglicised or translated place-names - so this is a long-running linguistic issue. If you ever get the chance to read it or see it performed, do: it's powerful, funny and sad, with a Romeo and Juliet central plot.

Finally I can't resist giving this link to a story in today's Guardian:

Shortcut to:,,1925715,00.html

It has just been announced that the works of Charles Darwin, of Origin of Species fame, are to be made available on the net. The article has a link to the site, with sound files which I didn't check, but the link to the site wouldn't work when I tried it, so you might have to be resourceful. Might be of help with history of language topics, but is also worth a look just for the hell of it.

Sorry about the long absence from this site: been busy down in damp Cornwall!

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