Fuck the EU

Pop quiz: Name the U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine.

It’s not a household name, by any stretch. The gentleman in question might have lived out his days in relative diplomatic obscurity had he not become embroiled in last week’s superbly entertaining “Fuck the EU” scandal.

And so, readers of Saturday’s La Vanguardia could be forgiven for their confusion after turning to p. 2 and seeing the ambassador identified, first in an editorial, as “Geoffrey Pyatt”…

Fuck the EU

…and just inches away, in the asinine red/green stoplight feature, as “Geoffrey Patt.”

Fuck the EU_2

Undeterred, the reader seeks further enlightenment on p. 6, where it is clarified, twice, that the poor sap on the receiving end of Victoria Nuland’s fiery tongue was, in fact, Geoffrey Patt.

Fuck the EU_4

Fuck the EU_5

Here’s the twist. As is supremely easy to verify, the U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine is actually Geoffrey Pyatt. Only once, in Màrius Carol’s editorial, did La Vanguardia actually get it right.

Perhaps Mr. Carol’s obvious talent for hectoring would be better deployed against own staff.

A day in the life

Obviously El País can’t get through an entire article about John Lennon without screwing something up. Twice.

Cinthya Lennon

Super Bowl Monday

Dear El País,

I get it. I don’t give a crap about football, either. But you’ve made a habit of giving U.S. news more ink than it deserves, so you have to pay lip service to the Super Bowl.

But at least get the basics right.

The most important position in football is Q-U-A-R-T-E-R-B-A-C-K.
The first name of the quarterback who won this year’s championship is R-U-S-S-E-L-L.
And the guys responsible for frenetic, shirtless writhing during the halftime show are the Red Hot Chili P-E-P-P-E-R-S.
Russel Wilson

Red Hot Chili Pepers

UPDATE: You even fumbled the name of the winning team.

Guest rant: Tim Barton reads El Periódico

The true story of an encounter between El Periódico and a regular contributor to El Foreing Office:

I popped out to watch Espanyol vs. Real Madrid at the local this evening. As I was leaving I thought I’d have a “quick” look through the 20 January edition of El Periódico for Foreing Office material. It didn’t disappoint, throwing up such a plethora of examples that I asked to take the paper home so I could take pictures. The fact that all the examples below come from the same newspaper on the same day demonstrates just how rife the problem is.

Pete Mickael_
I know nothing about basketball, but this looked wrong as soon as I saw it. He’s Pete Mickeal. For what it’s worth, that name also looks unusual, so I’d have probably checked Mickeal too if I’d seen that.

Julen Aginagalde_
When I saw “Julen”—without paying attention to the surname—I immediately thought it must be a misspelling of the French name Julien, so I looked it up. Turns out he is called Julen—he’s Basque—but his surname is Aguinagalde.

Thimoty Tiroitich_
I didn’t really need to check the spelling of his first name, for obvious reasons, but hey, since Jhonathan [sic] is à la mode as a first name in Latin America, perhaps people in Uganda have taken to “Thimoty”. Sure enough, my check confirms that Mr Tiroitich’s first name is spelt the same as pretty much every other Timothy on this planet. Oh, but he’s not Mr Tiroitich; he’s Mr Toroitich. How wrong can you get it!

A Swede called Kasrlsson? Did this golfer really have an ancestor called Kasrl? The 7th ranked player’s name should have been a clue something was wrong here.

Clare et moi_
Clare et moi
looked suspicious. I’ve met French ladies called “Claire” but never called “Clare”, which in French would be pronounced differently, i.e. rhyming with bar, not with bear. I reacted to discovering the actual name of the film by exclaiming Victor Meldrew’s favourite catchphrase. The film is actually called “Clara et moi”—just like the Spanish and Catalans spell it!

Elisabeth & Jame_
I wondered whether this was supposed to say “Jamie Olsenboy”, but then realised that would make only two firms instead of three. The second firm in the list is called Elizabeth and James. So, that’s the English, not the French, spelling of Elizabeth; the word “and” not the ampersand; and “James” with an s on the end. This makes the rendering of Timothy Toroitich’s name look rather good.

Thanks, Tim! The third firm is actually spelled “Olsenboye”but who’s counting?