Saturday, September 04, 2004

In the Colloquial

At is an article describing some of the fun being had in the EU over trying to run a government that encompasses several distinct languages. I think it was Mark Twain who said, "Nothing separates two people more than a common language." In this case, it is the informal and ironic uses of terms that sometimes cause misunderstandings.

Not that the US isn't guilty of this. I'm sure that a Brit or someone with english as a second language might get snagged by the way the phrase "With all due respect..." gets used. That's because there is the parenthetical aside (due being somehere between scant and none) that gets omitted between that phrase and the criticism that follows.

Link via Pejamnesque

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