Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
By the way: a cultural observation.

A top national stereotype about Germans is that they are pedantically "precise", while that about Mediterranean peoples is that they are "careless" and "sloppy".

However, in the thousands of railway-related (especially governmental and state railway) press releases and articles I have combed through over the years, in both Spanish and German, there is a diametrically opposed trend: in German, you'll find few numbers, most of those rounded to 2-3, often even just 1 significant figures; while in Spanish, you'll find tunnel lengths to the centimetre and the costs of multi-billion-Euro projects to the last cent (and no, I am not exaggerating!).

Methinks in both cases, there is a sub-conscious (or maybe not so sub-) aspiration to oppose the stereotype. But I also think that this image drive now has real-world effects, too. And, I wonder if, as a result, the stereotypes themselves will be inverted in a generation.

Then again, even while RENFE issues ridership numbers precise to the last digit, and lots of sub-sums, I had a lot of trouble using them for this diary.  For, successive releases used differing time periods, and included different services in their sum totals, usually without declaring what's included and what's not... and some data from the same set could only be found in Catalan, others only in Castilian...

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue Mar 17th, 2009 at 08:27:04 AM EST
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