From the top deck of the bus on Fulham Road in Chelsea, I look down onto what must be a Spanish restaurant: El Torero Loco. The letters in the name are crooked this way and that and adorned with little curly-cue embellishments. I think the font has little to do with Spain and more to do with someone’s idea of loco.
I think about the word ‘torero’ and grow frustrated with how little know.
I used to live in Madrid. I used to speak Spanish quite well. I fancy myself a kind of Hispanophile, and yet I cannot remember if torero is the general word for bullfighting or the general word for any of the human participants involved in the fight. I know it doesn’t refer specifically to the man who deals the final blow, because that man is the matador.
Now the word matador is in my head, and I start on a new vein.
I think about how translated literally, matador means killer. This leads me to murderer and for the life of me I cannot think how one would say ‘murderer’ in Spanish.
Assassin and murderer aren’t the same. An assassin is more of a professional. He does his job with panache. A murderer might just blunder into it.
I think, perhaps English has more nuanced words than Spanish. I’ve heard linguistic-savy, language experts make gross generalisations about different languages and the level of expressiveness associated with their respective amplitude of vocabulary. English is supposed to be very expressive.
Does that mean the English are supposed to be expressive? Or do they let their words do their expressing for them whilst keeping a lid on a hidden torrent of ardour?
The bus turns the corner, and I think how I might blog about this train of thought. Then I wonder if my thoughts are multiplying exponentially simply because I’m watching them and thinking and giving my brain free reign, but then I worry that perhaps quantity of thought is not important; it’s quality that counts.
Should I be pulling the reins in on my brain.
I see the Cave de Fromage near the South Kensington Station and wonder if cave in French is better translated as ‘cellar’ or ‘basement’.