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Spain bows before la blogosfera

English-derived neologism bids for world domination

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God alone knows what Cervantes would have made of it, but the English term "blogosphere" has slithered onto the growing list of neologisms shoehorned into the noble Castillian language, joining chatear, chip, formatear, Internet and módem in a burgeoning list of tech and net-based foreign vocab.

Official recocognition came last week in august publication El País, which carried this story containing no fewer than five outrages - blog, camping (campsite), the aforementioned Internet, una web (website) and, yes indeed, la blogosfera (all to be found in footnote to article, Internet se moviliza en favor de la familia).

Suitably shaken by this litany of Anglicisms, we decided to have a shufti at the redoubtable Wikipedia to see just how far the dark tentacles of the blogosphere have spread across a defenceless world.

The result is chilling indeed, with evidence that the blogosphere has pretty well conquered the vast territories held by the Romance languages including Catalan (where it's known as the blocosfera), French (blogosphère), Italian (blogosfera) and Portuguese (ditto blogosfera).

It gets worse. You might expect the Germans to make a fight of it, but they've evidently quickly surrendered to the Blogosphäre, as have the Basques (blogosfera), Latvians (Blogosfēra), Maltese (bloggosfera), Polish (blogosfera), Russians (Блогосфе́ра) and Swedish (Bloggosfär).

Doubtless there are further examples, and the only ray of hope comes from Afrikaans, where we find the Webjoernaalsfeer, albeit containing the word "web".

Back in Spain, meanwhile, the onslaught of English vocabulary continues virtually unchallenged. As we previously noted, the locals have regrettably taken a shine to the word standing, which they use to mean "exclusive", as in Pisos de alto standing ("Exclusive flats").

Other newbies spotted recently include un casting (audition), un brik (one of those bloody Tetrapak things holding milk, etc), un pack ("bundle", as in Pack PlayStation con tres juegos ("Playstation bundled with three games"), un lifting (facelift, etc), not to mention a raft of acronyms and initialisms lifted directly, viz: DVD, GPS, IP, HTML, LCD, MP3, PC, PIN, etc, etc.

In conclusion, we'd like to note that this linguistic process isn't a one-way street, and would accordingly like to thank our Spanish chums for the indispensible barbecue, burrito, cocaine, hammock, salsa, siesta, taco and, of course, tequila. ®

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