United Europe
( published Friday, 16th November 2001 )
www.alexandrino.com

Buongiorno a Tutti,

Sarah, Ed, I love you guys, but sorry I couldn't go on with you yesterday evening. The good thing about it is I'm sure my body feels better this morning than yours, hahaha. You people are completely mad.

Last Tuesday my Finnish friend Mikko and myself were in Paris. On the way back, on the Eurostar, my mobile rang. It was Miguel, my "squash" friend from Portugal ( remember him? No? Check out my archives on 20/02/11 ). Miguel wanted to have some information about Finland, and as I work for a Finnish company...So I handed my phone to Mikko ( who doesn't know Miguel ), and Miguel called a Finnish friend standing next to him to talk to Mikko.

Hey, Miguel, do you realise how crazy this is? You have a Finn somewhere between Paris and London at more than 300kilometres/hour talking Finnish with another Finn sitting in the Algarve on my English mobile. A bit surreal, no?

Quick, let me send this stupid mail before I regret it. This time I really lost it.

Have a nice weekend

Alex

Everybody has seen this one before, but I like it:

A language instructor was explaining to her class that French nouns, unlike their English counterparts, are grammatically designated as masculine or feminine. Things like 'chalk' or 'pencil,' she described, would have a gender association although in English these words were neutral. Puzzled, one student raised his hand and asked, "What gender is a computer?"

The teacher wasn't certain which it was,and so divided the class into two groups and asked them to decide if a computer should be masculine or feminine. One group was comprised of the women in the class, and the other, of men. Both groups were asked to give four reasons for their recommendation.

The group of women concluded that computers should be referred to in masculine gender because:
1. In order to get their attention, you have to turn them on.
2. They have a lot of data but are still clueless.
3. They are supposed to help you solve your problems, but half the time they ARE the problem.
4. As soon as you commit to one, you realize that, if you had waited a little longer, you could have had a better model.

The men, on the other hand, decided that computers should definitely be referred to in the feminine gender because:
1. No one but their creator understands their internal logic.
2. The native language they use to communicate with other computers is incomprehensible to everyone else.
3. Even your smallest mistakes are stored in long-term memory for later retrieval.
4. As soon as you make a commitment to one, you find yourself spending half your paycheck on accessories.