Translating from Flemish this week, I had to look up the meaning of da’s onze dada. Wondering what a post-World War II avantgarde art movement had to do with a recruiting text and with Manfred Mann’s Doo Wah Diddy Diddy playing relentlessly in my head, I discovered it meant ‘that’s our passion’. I was also reminded of the ultimate Scottish insult: ‘Yer Da sells Avon!’ which roughly translated means ‘Your father sells cosmetics door-to-door’.
It’s really strange that they gave the huge storm which cost lives and caused such destruction in Central America the name ‘Iota’. In English, an iota (pronounced eye o tah) is something so small as to be negligible. We say ‘It doesn’t matter one iota’ when we mean that something doesn’t matter at all. The ninth and smallest letter in the Greek alphabet, it derives from the Phoenician – Yodh. We sometimes say ‘It doesn’t matter a jot’.
What does matter is that the Belgian client’s website texts are otherwise well-written and humorous and nice to work on. A section on the current measures in place to combat the spread of the COVID-19 virus (or as everyone these days calls them ‘corona measures’) and the effect of those measures on working life was headed: ‘It’s life Jim, but not as we know it’.
Truer words were never spoken.