August catch-up: second languages, the secret of love and is it all right to call someone stupid?

Six of the best catches landed by our trawler of the digital ocean

Share

1. Map of the second most-spoken language in each country in Europe, compiled by Move Hub. The website has compiled an impressive amount of information from around the world, including maps of the world and of the main continents.

It is controversial. There are disputes about what constitutes a separate language ("‏languages are dialects with an army and a navy," Max Weinreich via Davide Denti), and Move Hub's definition is "second most common first language" in each country, which may be why, for example, it is Mirandese in Portugal, rather than Spanish, which a lot of Portuguese speak as a second language.

I have encountered Scottish cybernats before, but the Welsh ones are just as bad. They denounced the map furiously, saying that there are more Welsh speakers in the UK than Polish. Indeed, there are about 560,000 Welsh speakers in Wales, and perhaps another 100,000 in the rest of the UK, while there are about 550,000 Polish speakers here. But when I pointed out that there were far fewer who speak Welsh as a first language they didn't like it. The Welsh Language Use Surveys of 2004-06, for example, found that about 320,000 people in Wales described themselves as "fluent" in Welsh. Polish it is, I am afraid.

2. Which brings me to a question asked by Andrew Sullivan while I was away: "Does 'stupid' have a place in the political discourse?" Yes, it is a QTWTAIN.

3. “The secret of love,” as Lucy said in Peanuts, “is to eliminate the competition.” Thanks to Timothy Stanley for reminding us recently of the genius of Charles Schulz.

4. Robin Flavell had the last word on the summer craze:

"Hipsters are doing the Water Bucket challenge. It's the Ice Bucket challenge, but before it was cool."

5. Thanks to Gary Slapper for this early example of due diligence, allegedly a 19-century note of fees:

 

________

6. Finally, thanks to Kevin Hague for this:

What did the Glaswegian owl say when his dad explained the facts of life?

"You dae whit tae hoo?"

READ MORE: ON SECOND LANGUAGES IN LONDON

React Now

  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Senior Accounts Assistant - Accounts Payable - St. Albans

£26000 - £28000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: Senior Accounts Assistan...

Ashdown Group: Treasury Assistant - Accounts Assistant - London, Old Street

£24000 - £26000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...

Recruitment Genius: Installation and Service / Security Engineer

£22000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is part of a Group...

Recruitment Genius: Service Charge Accounts Assistant

£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you a a young, dynamic pers...

Day In a Page

Read Next
A Gold Ferrari sits outside Chanel on Sloane Street  

Sunday Times Rich List: We are no longer in thrall to very rich people

Terence Blacker
David Cameron was openly emotional at the prospect of Scotland leaving the union before the referendum  

Remember when David Cameron almost cried over Scotland because he loved it so much?

Matthew Norman
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

Confessions of a former PR man

The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

The mother of all goodbyes

Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions