Posted by: janecronin | March 5, 2013

Englishisms


I’ve written quite a lot about English phrases in Spanish, which seem to increase on a daily basis.  “Fair play” is now common currency in the sporting world and the word “boom” even more commonplace when talking about the origins of Spanish economic woes.  It’s curious how meanings get distorted in the process of transfer from one language to another.  When used in Spanish the simple word “performance” doesn’t just mean a timed artistic activity usually on a stage, it means some rather avant-garde unpredicted event, like those opera singers who get filmed singing arias in train stations; you know the sort of thing.  Actually, I believe these events are now called “flashmobs”, another interesting use of English.  There is strange sexual element in some of these word transfers too – “boy” can mean “male stripper” and I’ve even seen the word “show” to mean “striptease”.  The dangers in all this just don’t bear thinking about!

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