Friday, 2 March 2018

Identity crisis?

It seems that someone has been nominating President Trump for the Nobel Peace Prize. On what grounds anyone might think he could deserve such a prize is a mystery, to me anyway. No doubt there are people among his supporters who believe he deserves all the prizes going. Imagine the statements about this being the “best Nobel Prize ever!!!”.

However, the nomination has been made using a stolen identity. What is more, it appears that the same person was responsible for forging nominations last year as well, according to the Nobel committee secretary Olav Njolstad. “Every year, we get lots of invalid nominations, but these are nominations that are not valid because those who nominate are not qualified to do so,” Njolstad said. “As far as I know, this is the first example of someone nominating someone by stealing another person’s identity.”

The name of the identity thief has been given to the police. Why was this not done last year? Presumably it was that oversight that gave him the encouragement to have another try this year.

The outcome is that there is no Nobel Peace Prize for Donald!

This is not the only identity theft story I have come across recently.

In New York a Russian woman is charged with attempting to poison a woman who looked just like her so that she could steal her passport, identity documents, credit cards and such like. It seems she turned up at the home of the other woman, another Russian speaker, bearing poisoned cheesecake. Maybe she has been reading Snow White too frequently, replacing apples with cheesecake!

When the poisoned lookalike passed out she put her to bed and scattered pills around to make it look like suicide. Unfortunately for the poisoner, fortunately for the poisonee, another friend turned up some time later, found the victim and got her to hospital, where she recovered and identified her poisoner. The poisoner has form; she is said to have drugged and killed another woman in Russia before fleeing to the USA. Clearly a woman of bad habits!

And finally, an identity crisis of a different sort:-

When we lived in Vigo on a more permanent basis I used to attend a reading group at the Alliance Française here in the city. I still follow them on Facebook and get updates about what is going on. Their latest post advertises the Fête de la Francophonie later this month. It asks followers for their favourite French word - “Quel est votre mot français prèféré?”

This is a good question for linguists. “Crépuscule” and “libellule” are good candidates. I always used to ask that question when recruiting students into A-Level courses in French and Spanish. “Proper” linguists always have favourite words.

However, the Alliance Française de Vigo, surprisingly for an organisation belonging to a country that makes a point of defending use of its own language in all things, heads its post in ENGLISH with the instruction “Tell us!”.

Really! I am quite shocked!

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