Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Steel vs. Iron, a study in words. Bearshapedsphere opines on language, again!

Although the packing fairies and cleaning patrol failed to show up, the ants in our pants brigade did a fine job of acceleratedly standing up and sitting down to back up the external hard drive onto another external hard drive, while doing the packing and cleaning for the missing fairies and aforementioned patrol. This mega backup task is one that I've had on my whiteboard next to "call dentist" for longer than I should probably admit. At least I can erase one of them now.

And what's packed is packed, and what's clean is clean, and what isn't just isn't. There's no more to say about that. Except that I hope I get invited to a summer dress fashion show, because after all this jeans and sweaters for months on end, the idea of purple and pink and brown flowered and patterned and strappy dresses was too much for one indecisive girl to deal with. And yeah, I may have overpacked a little.

But now I'm in the airport, feeding off the wifi like a remera fish, but not a ramera, which means tshirt in Argentina, but prostitute somewhere else, and also not really like a remera because the wifi is nothing like a shark and our relationship is more parasitic than symbiotic. Maybe I'm an epiphyte. Less poky though.

There's something that's always bothered me about the airport, besides the reggaeton on the TV that is washing over me, and which made a friend that I just talked to on the phone ask "where are you, anyway?" The thing that bothers me is that one of the buildings you pass on the way here is for Carlos Herrera, Master en Acero. I am incapable of not thinking behind words, and the word most similar to Herrera is herrero, as in "casa de herrero, cuchillo de palo" which means, in the house of the blacksmith, there are wooden knives (see: shoemaker's kids go barefoot). Herrera reminds me of the word blacksmith. And then it says master en acero, or steelwork. Steel? Iron? Different! How can a blacksmith work in steel? It's just so linguistically upsetting. But now that I have aired my grievance, I can turn my attention to just how many times the gent sharing this bench with me can whack the back of the seat while he talks to his girlfriend on the phone. They don't seem to be in a fight, he's just a seat whacker. It's not very relaxing. I wonder if his last name is Paz (peace).

Happy trails y'all. Next time from Mexico.

4 comments:

Abby said...

I think we work on the same brain waves, or something.

My student just asked me the difference between steel and iron.

I didn't really know...I told them to suffice with "they're just...different metals." Darnit. Now I'm going to have to go look up the difference.

Happy Trails!

lydia said...

haha, that darn saying everyone sets on me ( ... i swear this english teacher will eventually give her boyfriend a lesson!)

maybe the blacksmith meaning has since been expanded a lot, or the word for a steelsmith is unknown to most?

Katie said...

To avoid further linguistic confusion, t-shirt in Argentina is remera.

I've never heard of a remera fish. I'll have to check that out.

Eileen said...

remera is the word I meant for Tshirt, and remora for suckerfish. They hang on the bottoms of sharks, and eat what falls behind (I think) and also keeps the sharks tidy. None of which I do, sadly!

Iron (Fe) is a naturally occuring element. Steel is Iron plus impurities which make it stronger. I remember this from the third grade, and I am so not kidding, sadly.