I heard a man on the radio the other morning talking about the Walloon economy (unwell compared to thriving Flanders – I suspect that if you had the slightest interest in hearing that, you knew it already). Anyhow, he was saying that the benefits from the Flemish economy also help Wallonia “ce que nous economistes appellons ‘le spillover’”. Is there no word in the language of Voltaire to cover this concept? Or self-service restaurant “le self” or air conditioning “l’airco” or a car park “le parking”? The final insult to the French language was delivered on the radio this evening. The Belgian ambassador to Sweden has written a book and he was being interviewed. “So”, said the interviewer, “if two diplomats have a ‘spirited exchange of views’ it means they had a huge fight, right?” “C’est vrai” said the diplomat” que la langage de la diplomatie, c’est la langage de l’understatement” Tell me, is there really no equivalent for the word “understatement” in the language of diplomacy? Good grief. You will note that I am making progress on my aim of becoming a grumpy pedant in two languages.
And, in an entirely unrelated matter, please consider what is possibly the greatest waste of money, ever. I appreciate that this is a challenging category in which to excel, but I think you will agree that this product sees off the opposition in style. Credit for disseminating information on this new high in the tasteless, expensive and useless goes to Spirit Fingers.