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Mercator

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Mercator last won the day on August 24 2012

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About Mercator

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  1. Good man - I wish more people would learn languages, especially in English-speaking countries and the larger countries of Western Europe...
  2. Yeah, me understandy Bazza, - me no stoopy stoops, hence my reply... The second point about French, very true, but it goes for a looooot of words in English, especially the more academic words, best highlighted by the names of farm animals and their relationship to names of food: The French were the consumers, the English (Saxons) the farmers and manual labourers, so where the Saxon Germanics had Cow/Bull Swine/Pig Lamb/Sheep, because as farmers they produced them, the French ate the stuff, so they called them Beef (Boeuf) Pork (Porc) Mutton (Mouton) so no matter which version of Eng
  3. Baron darling, you're such a wag, you know... I spelt it "wag", the American spelling for the slightly longer British variant, "smartypants"... If American English saves letter space, why do you call a "lift" an "elevator" and a "chemist" a "drugstore"?! Methinks that Noah Webster and his fans weren't really sure what they were up to
  4. Merci beaucoup, Monsieur Robert That's half the answer - I don't suppose it has much control over chosen host cities using different variants on-site if they wanted to...?
  5. Yes, on the "English" translations. I was tired after proofreading all day... not explaining well... I think most educated people know there are variants of English, especially if they operate something like MS Word in an office; seeing all the variants. OK, for Commonwealth English, read British English, or International English, real English or original English, call it what you like.... I didn't want to offend the rest of the non-American world by using the term "British English"; the one used outside of the US and parts of Canada. I would like to know who decides which spelling variant
  6. I think this was brought up ages and ages ago, but I'll recycle it anyhow... I'm a linguist by trade and I am also ordinarily interested in languages, so this is a question that interests me from a personal and professional point of view: So... when the Olympic Games are in London, the buildings/venues/events are officially known by their local names in British English, in Sydney Australian English, Vancouver in Canadian English, all pretty similar indeed together I'll call them Commonwealth English. e.g. Aquatic Centre 500 Metres Breaststroke In the USA, it's naturally in their local pa
  7. My three are pretty similar to others, but on a personal basis, I would like to share the following anecdotes with you: 1. I took a "plane" from Luxembourg airport to London City, arriving on 9th August in the afternoon, only a stone's throw from all the action. I put the word "plane" in inverted commas because it was a biscuit tin really, and we were being thoroughly shaken about as if the Creator wanted to see how many biscuits there were... Anyhow, instead of how I envisaged the landing (coming in to land directly from east to west), we needed to land from west to east, meaning this Fokker
  8. Danny Boyle <<did>> know what he was doing, but the TV director didn't. I am quite sure it would have all been absolutely fine had the utter amateur in charge of camerawork actually been to the optician the week before. If anyone can find his/her name, we could send a few frank emails, politely written, of course...
  9. Well I guess the organisers tried (and kind of succeeded) to please everyone's tastes in at least one or parts of the ceremonies I don't think I liked one competely all the way through from beginning to end, but I remember that experience in years past too. However, as I already said, the Paralympic Closing Ceremony was, like a few other posters, my least favourite. Watch it, because there are some excellent bits, but once again the camerawork was, in places, absolutely abysmal. The poor motorcycle highwire act had a shot lasting a few milliseconds, while the director thought it a good idea
  10. There's one other thing that really harasses me: that temperatures below 35°C are just not a summer. I work with people from all over Europe, including Italians, Spaniards, Greeks and Portuguese people and many of them keep moaning about the Luxembourgish summer, that 22-26°C is faaaar too cold, brrrrrrr. Well then why did they choose to leave their so-called "idyllic" homelands? Surely they should have stayed back in their respective towns, if all that they consider important is the weather. For me, I find anything above 30°C as torture. I spent a month in Malaga and it was like living in a h
  11. The view from the top of the stands at Greenwich Park This is how they put the stuff away after the triathlon The view to the hospitality area in Greenwich Park - it was crammed later, this was only a couple of minutes after the first afternoon session of the Modern Pentathlon! The BBC did have a few screens around the city - one of the best-kept secrets was the one at Greenwich Park outside the venue. I loved it there.
  12. I agree CAF - although I can only presume there's a lot of "broadcasting rights" issues tied up in there somewhere wrapped in disguise as "Olympic impartiality"....
  13. To say London was "cold" but not "by British standards" is like saying Athens' infrastructure was "built on time, by Greek methods". I was there in London, and I have travelled quite a lot, but nothing I have ever come face-to-face with could prepare me for the tremendous atmosphere or explain the sheer joy of that place. If chaos (a Greek word), traffic delays and torturously hot weather is what he wanted out of an Olympic Games, then we should have held it in Athens again to give the place some visitors once more... I have a LOT of Italian friends who were in London, and their views were c
  14. Nope, I'm not assassinating France's character, as I said. Call me Jeremy Clarkson if you like, but it was a rational and balanced judgement based upon living there for a year. But maybe I didn't explain it well enough. I just meant the bit about the RER as an example of my experiences... I found Albertville's venues lacked any kind of modernity for 1992, and the Theatre of Ceremonies aside, had all the charm of an East German railway station combined with the gaudy colours of a children's cereal packet. Add to that the stupid logo blasted everywhere and the assault on your eyes is complete. I
  15. Funny you should say that about Coe. I thought the same. But since the Games finished, he's been pretty ubiquitous on TV, and he's a lot less catty. Actually, quite funny and down-to-earth. I think he was just stressed with that role, maybe tired. Now it's all over, he seems to be a different person. Give him a chance in his BOA role, then judge him after a year or two
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