Miguel Ángel Aijón Oliva
But just say the word
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Cat eyes

This cat I’d never told you about

  Demonstratives usually help us point at things we consider identifiable and, in some sense, already known by our communicative partners. In Spanish, whenever I say something like este gato ‘this cat’, it is either because the cat is present in the physical situation ‒ besides, it is implied that the cat is comparably close […]

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Yet another orange

  Thank Bog, O my brothers, that them oozhassny views of language as automatically determined by social ascription are now starting to be viddied as chepooka, and will end up by snuffing it. What our slovos actually do is like turn us into something we want to be. In this sense, nadsat ways of govoreeting […]

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Those false facts we were taught about English

  Learners of a foreign language, especially at initial and intermediate stages, are basically taught its standard variety – provided there is such a thing. It is generally assumed that if you just use ‘common’ words and constructions, avoiding dialectal features, colloquial traits and slang of any sort, you will communicate successfully in most situations. […]

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The trouble with vowels

  Vowels are the flesh of words and consonants are their bones. Undoubtedly, the Spanish vowel system is much simpler than its English counterpart: the standard variety and most regional and social ones have only five phonemes, namely /i, e, a, o, u/, with very little if any phonetic overlapping among them. In turn, variants […]

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Cuadro grande

A decalogue of art

  What is art and where can it be found? The following decalogue is intended to provide at least some bases for discussion.   1. Art is the creation of a different reality. Probably the only feature that can be considered common to all forms of art is the fact that they go beyond what […]

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Why is there

Gertrude Stein and the end of avantgarde

  A book is in a chapter is in a page is in a sentence is in a word is in a letter, and it is nowhere near. I have only read two books by Lost-Generation diva Gertrude Stein’s books it’s only two I have read, but, as can be observed, that should be enough […]

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  What is the first day of the week? Any Spaniard will unhesitatingly answer Monday. This is what our wall calendars suggest by placing this day at the left end of the metaphorical boulevard—time is itself a metaphor—of the week, and traditionally highlighting it with red ink in recognition of its sacred nature in Christian […]

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I command you guys to have a good time

  As discussed in other entries in this blog (e.g. this one), grammar is what human beings live by. Therefore a language, and the minds of those who speak it, cannot really be changed through lexical borrowings, even if the latter have traditionally constituted the main target of prescriptivists and defenders of the purity of language. […]

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My name on it

  The recent news that a soccer stadium in Madrid is to be renamed after the Chinese company that has acquired 20% of the local team’s share capital cannot but arouse some nostalgia if not social upheaval. It seems like all those names of illustrious people that used to grace our sports venues were just being swept away by large-scale […]

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And us, we are a-roarin’

  Why him? That I wonder too. The chance had been there for so long that it had become sort of what I call an elevator remark – if you feel stupid talking to your neighbor about the weather, you can always say ‘Hey, he’s been nominated again’. I guess it was even good that he should be […]

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