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Off topic: Friday the Thirteenth
Thread poster: Mervyn Henderson

Mervyn Henderson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 02:16
Member
Spanish to English
+ ...
Mar 13, 2009

I must immediately rush to say that this is a controversy-free post. In a bid to relieve certain recent tensions, I've taken time off from some terminally tedious translation tasks to invite your reflections on this dread date. Except for the Spaniards, that is. They leave their worrying to Tuesday the Thirteenth. Maybe other nationalities do too (?). The fools, the fools, as Padraig Pearse said, although admittedly not about Friday the Thirteenth. But Tomás and company won't even see it coming today.

Me, I'm nervous already about the seafood rice I have to cook in about half an hour for lunch. I'm bigheaded enough to say that normally it's finger-lickin' good, to suck your fingers, as they say around here, but who knows, because anything can happen on ....


FRIDAY THE THIRTEENTH


I would have liked to put the above in big shakey scarey blood-soaked letters to get everyone in the mood, but I don't know how, and chances are that if I try it today, my laptop will blow up in my face.

Watch it, everyone ...


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Jenny Forbes  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:16
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
Black cats? Mar 13, 2009

Mervyn,
Whereas to have a black cat cross your path (especially on Friday 13th) is considered lucky in Britain, I've heard that it's considered unlucky in Spain. Is that right?
On a Darwinian note, I've also heard that almost all "black" cats now living bear a tiny patch of white fur under their chins or on their chests, allegedly because entirely black cats were considered the devil's beasts, were owned by witches and were burned with their unfortunate owners, meaning they left few progeny, while cats with the little white patch were spared and so reproduced, passing on their characteristic.
Buena suerte,
Jenny


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Andrea Riffo  Identity Verified
Chile
Local time: 22:16
English to Spanish
Traditionally... Mar 13, 2009

... in Chile it is also Tuesday the 13th. However, Friday the 13th also wracks some nerves around here, thanks to Jason (I assume).

Mervyn, will this do? (it was rhe best I could find that didn't feature Jason and his hockey mask)





Jenny, I had no idea that having a black cat cross your path is considered lucky in Britain. In Chile, it is sadly (I LOVE black cats) also considered bad luck.

Greetings

Andrea

[Edited at 2009-03-13 16:45 GMT]


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xxxJPW  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:16
Spanish to English
+ ...
"I am a steadfast non-believer" said the sceptic. Mar 13, 2009

To give some semblance of normality in these matters, 'they' have even invented a word for this type of mumbo-jumbo: triskaidekaphobia, although that only explains the '13' part, not the Friday (or Tuesday, wherever you happen to live).

For those brave enough, here's more 'info': but be warned, there might be viruses on this web page...Now that would be bad luck.

http://www.opinionjournal.com/taste/?id=110009086

Where I live is supposed to be haunted. The cleaners won't enter a certain apartment. As for the groundsman, he's petrified, to the point where if you try to make light-hearted banter about it, he's liable to clock you one on the gob. On many occasions I am the only person in my block. And during the long, cold, dark winters, I am frequently the only person in the entire complex. Not seen or heard a thing. I don't believe in ghosts 'coz I haven't seen any. And I reckon I haven't seen any because, well, you can figure the rest.

But if you are the superstitious type, then don't bet on the Gold Cup. You'll only lose and blame it on 'higher nature'.

And now, you must excuse me, I have to go to the shops, with one eye closed of course, since I don't want to bump into any black cats. But the other eye open, since equally I don't want to walk under any ladders, or step on the cracks on the pavement.


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Paola Dentifrigi  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 02:16
Member (2003)
English to Italian
+ ...
Friday the 17th Mar 13, 2009

That's what is said to bring bad luck in Italy. My 1st flight ever was on that date, sometimes in the 80's.
However, tomorrow for my Powwow I reserved for 17 people at 13:00. I guess 13 table companions are not allowed superstitiously speaking, so 17 might do the trick.

An interesting proverb as well: né di venere né di marte non si sposa, non si parte.
Meaning more or less: don't get married or tavel on a Friday or a Tuesday.

And black cat are supposed to bring bad luck. Mine is black and white, to be on the safe side.


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Marie-Hélène Hayles  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:16
Italian to English
+ ...
Black cats Mar 13, 2009

As far as I know, black cats are unlucky everywhere except in the UK. Personally, I've never been without one since I was 17 - first Zeppy, then Sam, now Tindaro (currently snoring away on the study bed).

Here's one for us all to enjoy (or run away from, as you prefer)



[Edited at 2009-03-13 15:31 GMT]


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Andrea Riffo  Identity Verified
Chile
Local time: 22:16
English to Spanish
... Mar 13, 2009

He's gorgeous, Marie-Hélène!!

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Marie-Hélène Hayles  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:16
Italian to English
+ ...
He's not mine Mar 13, 2009

ariffo wrote:

He's gorgeous, Marie-Hélène!!


I just picked one off the internet

He (or she) looks a lot like both Zeppy and Sam, although not like Tindaro, who's a big fluffy long-haired monster of a black cat with yellow eyes and incredibly long whiskers (once black, now white).

[Edited at 2009-03-13 15:47 GMT]


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Lawyer-Linguist  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 01:16
Dutch to English
+ ...
Paraskavedekatriaphobia Mar 13, 2009

According to good old Wikipedia a specific fear of Friday the 13th is called paraskavedekatriaphobia or friggatriskaidekaphobia.

We had one last month too. Not that I keep track, but I can't recall having two in a row before. I only know this because I moved on the 13th of last month, and it wasn't all smooth sailing.

Nice cat Marie-Hélène

Mervyn, you're too quiet, didn't the seafood rice go down well?


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Marie-Hélène Hayles  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:16
Italian to English
+ ...
Two in a row Mar 13, 2009

Lawyer-Linguist wrote:

A

We had one last month too. Not that I keep track, but I can't recall having two in a row before.


Well, there can only ever be two in a row in a non leap-year when the first one is in February... unless they change the calendar, of course.


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Angela Dickson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 01:16
French to English
+ ...
Black cats Mar 13, 2009

Jenny Forbes wrote:

Mervyn,
Whereas to have a black cat cross your path (especially on Friday 13th) is considered lucky in Britain, I've heard that it's considered unlucky in Spain. Is that right?
On a Darwinian note, I've also heard that almost all "black" cats now living bear a tiny patch of white fur under their chins or on their chests, allegedly because entirely black cats were considered the devil's beasts, were owned by witches and were burned with their unfortunate owners, meaning they left few progeny, while cats with the little white patch were spared and so reproduced, passing on their characteristic.
Buena suerte,
Jenny


Mine (my black cat, that is) has a small patch of white under his chin and another on his tummy - he also has 24 toes, which under other circumstances (ahem) might be a very useful evolutionary advantage!

I have a nice photo of him, but unfortunately in the photo he is perched on my desk, and my desk is not suitable for viewing by polite company.

As for Friday 13th - well, this one hasn't been too bad so far...

[Edited at 2009-03-13 15:53 GMT]


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Andrea Riffo  Identity Verified
Chile
Local time: 22:16
English to Spanish
... Mar 13, 2009

Marie-Hélène Hayles wrote:

I just picked one off the internet




Regardless, (s)he's still gorgeous. Heh.


Marie-Hélène Hayles wrote:
He (or she) looks a lot like both Zeppy and Sam, although not like Tindaro, who's a big fluffy long-haired monster of a black cat with yellow eyes and incredibly long whiskers (once black, now white).


I'm more partial to short-hairs, due to my cat allergy (yes, I'm allergic to cats yet have a feline brat of my own).


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Marie-Hélène Hayles  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:16
Italian to English
+ ...
I prefer shorthairs too Mar 13, 2009

Although we've currently got two longhairs - the aforesaid Tindaro and my own darling, the best cat in the world ever, HRH Prince Widget (who's another fluff monster, but tabby and white with curly belly fur, a pink nose and an imperious nature).

And (to wrench the off-off-topic back on-off-topic) it was Zeppy, my original black cat, who cured me of my feline allergy - not to mention hayfever - so she was certainly lucky as far as I was concerned


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Lawyer-Linguist  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 01:16
Dutch to English
+ ...
Never knew that Mar 13, 2009

Marie-Hélène Hayles wrote:

Well, there can only ever be two in a row in a non leap-year when the first one is in February... unless they change the calendar, of course.


Good to know!


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Mervyn Henderson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 02:16
Member
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Cats Mar 13, 2009

Well, I have now scoffed that hugely-successful-in-the-end rice, so Friday the Thirteenth seems to be going nicely.

Some interesting catology, phobology and phantomology there. I must say I had no idea about the Black Cats Rule either here or anywhere else. I am going to a Paddy bar later on this evening, so it'll be more a question of a Black Pint crossing my path. Which can also be dangerous, especially in large numbers, but I'll watch out.

Have a nice evening, won't you?


Mervyn


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