Thursday Difficult Spanish Open Comments

While going through comments in Duolingo, it came to light that a word we were learning (“acaba”) should preferably be replaced by “terminar,” as “acaba” could have sexual connotations.  That brought on a flurry of discussion about words that should be avoided, especially in different Spanish speaking countries (we have native speakers from South and Central America, as well as Spain and Mexico).  Someone linked to this video that demonstrates the dilemma quite well:

Wednesday’s Expansive Commentary

“Anybody can look at a pretty girl and see a pretty girl. An artist can look at a pretty girl and see the old woman she will become. A better artist can look at an old woman and see the pretty girl that she used to be. But a great artist- a master – and that is what Auguste Rodin was – can look at an old woman, portray her exactly as she is…and force the viewer to see the pretty girl she used to be…and more than that, he can make anyone with the sensitivity of an armadillo, or even you, see that this lovely young girl is still alive, not old and ugly at all, but simply prisoned inside her ruined body. He can make you feel the quiet, endless tragedy that there was never a girl born who ever grew older than eighteen in her heart…no matter what the merciless hours have done to her. Look at her, Ben. Growing old doesn’t matter to you and me; we were never meant to be admired – but it does to them.”

― Robert A. Heinlein, Stranger In a Strange Land