Not Schrödinger’s Cat

An article of mine about the Catalan language once appeared in a magazine under the title ‘Catalan Got Your Tongue? The Language With Nine Lives.’  I showed it to my Spanish friend M-J.  She was bemused.  “In Spanish,” she said solemnly, “a cat has seven lives. Why nine?” “Porque sí.” Because yes, which has always […]

Using Your Loaf

When I was growing up in the north of England, at bedtime my mum always used to say: come on now, up the apples. In those days, men still wore titfers. When people asked questions my dad thought were stupid, he’d say: use your loaf. What I most love about rhyming slang is that you […]