Wednesday, April 25, 2007

What's the Spanish word for lamb?

Who's asking: An anonymous Google searcher

The Spanish word for lamb is cordero. Noun, masculine, so it's el cordero. Wouldn't I sound so much more exotic if my last name were Cordero? In Maine, anyway.

I don't often talk about specific client projects, but one of the things I've been spending a lot of time on over the past few months is a website redesign for Joseph Finder, internationally-bestselling author of Killer Instinct, Company Man, Paranoia and the forthcoming Power Play (in stores August 21).

"Internationally-bestselling" is the key phrase, because the most challenging and time-consuming piece of this puzzle has been the international pages -- consolidated pages that show all the international covers, plus individual microsites for (so far) the Dutch, Swedish, German, Spanish and Israeli editions. God willing, some or all of these microsites will go live when the big redesign does, in mid-May.

"Gee," I hear you say, "I didn't know you spoke all those languages," and you would be correct. I have basic reading knowledge of German and Spanish. I am theoretically proficient in French, but took that test 20 years ago. I remember the Cyrillic alphabet from college Russian classes, and can figure out the Greek alphabet because it's basically the same. I have no knowledge of Hebrew at all.

Fortunately, Joe's publishers have kindly provided me with images and blocks of text, and all I have to do is assemble them. In doing so, I see how the nature of language is the same, regardless of the words and letters. We name things, we describe them, and we tell what they do. The power to do that makes us human.

I'm off to Los Angeles this afternoon for the L.A. Times Festival of Books. You will find me at The Mystery Bookstore's tent (Booth #411), and at the store's famous pre-Festival party on Friday night. Blogging will continue, but may be erratic.

Five Random Songs

"Still," Macy Gray. This CD (On How Life Is) was 1999's version of Jagged Little Pill, the one record every unmarried woman needed to own. Last year's version was Pink's I'm Not Dead. I got a little tired of Jagged Little Pill, but I'm still not tired of this record, or of Pink's.

"Finale," Bebe Neuwirth and Ann Reinking, from the Chicago soundtrack. The musical, not the AOR band. What could be more appropriate? "Oh, I'm no one's wife, but/Oh, I love my life/And all that jazz..."

"Get Up Stand Up," Bob Marley. Spring is here at last -- it was 84 degrees on Monday! -- and this is the perfect music for it.

"Way to Blue," Nick Drake. Nick Drake is always springtime music to me, too, though more contemplative.

"Tunnel of Love," Bruce Springsteen. Still one of the greatest albums ever about the impossibility of romantic relationships. "There's a room full of shadows that gets so dark, brother/It's easy for two people to lose each other/In this tunnel of love..."


Anonymous said...

The closer for the Washington Nationals is Chad Cordero. His nickname is "The Chief," and he's really good (see

The name, given its English translation, does raise a couple of questions, though. Would a guy named Chad Lamb strike fear into the hearts of opposing batters in the closing frame of a tight ballgame, and could that guy pull of being called "The Chief" in a sports context?

Also, although the real Mr. Cordero is American-born, what would be the odds of finding a Mexican named Chad?

Enjoy the book festival. Try not to buy more than one suitcaseful to bring back.

-- Ed

Anonymous said...

Hate to nit-pick, but Get Up Stand Up is in fact by Bob Marley and the Wailers, not Bob solo. Peter Tosh co-wrote this song and the definitive version, which opens Burnin, shines with his voice as much as Bob Marley's. And in the live versions that have been released with Tosh (and Bunny Wailer) still in the band, you hear what a dynamic presence Peter Tosh added. (Not that everything Bob Marley did subsequently wasn't genius....but that credit should be granted.)

(Posted by Tom E, having trouble logging on...)