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In Spain, since 'insignias' started being called pins, 'comidas frias' lunches, and 'repartos' castings, this country has not been the same: it is now much, much more modern. Before children read 'tebeos' rather than comics, students thought they were sticking up 'carteles' but really they were putting up posters, entrepreneurs doing 'negocio' rather than business, and workers took out their 'fiambreras' at lunch instead of their tupperware. I, at school, did aerobics several times, but, silly me, I thought I was doing 'ejercicio'. In Spain, no one is modern anymore if they don't pronounce a thousand words a day in English.

Words said in another language sound much more attractive to us. Its obviously not the same to say bacon than 'panceta', even if they have the same fat, nor hall instead of 'vestibulo' ... We no longer buy 'barras de pan', but baguettes, and instead of 'bocadillos', we eat sandwiches.

In this respect, the Spanish are very modern. We no longer say 'bizcocho', but plum-cake, or have 'sentimientos', but feelings. We buy 'tickets' and 'cds', we go to the 'pub', practice 'abseiling' and 'rafting', camping instead of 'acampar' and when the cold weather arrives, we clean our noses with a Kleenex. Nor are we ever 'cansado', tenemos stress!

These changes have positively influenced our language and have greatly improved our appearance. Women do not wear 'medias' but panties and men no longer put on 'calzoncillos', but slips, and after shaving they slap on the aftershave, which is fresher than 'loción'. The modern Spanish speaker no longer 'corre', because quite frankly that is for sissies, instead they hacer jogging or footing, they do not 'estudiar', they complete a masters and their cars no longer have 'alerones', but spoilers. You'll no longer find 'aparcamientos', but you'll have no problem finding a parking. 'El mercado' is now marketing, 'autoservicio' is self-service, 'el escalafon' is the ranking and the 'representativo' is now the manager.

'Gente importante' are VIPs, 'los puestos de venta' are stands, 'ejecutivos' are yuppies, 'niñeras' are known as babysitters or even nannies. In the office, the boss is always in 'meetings' or 'brainstormings', almost always with the 'personal trainer' or about 'public-relations', while the assistant sends 'mailings' and organises 'trainings', then goes to the 'gym' to do 'bodycombat' and meet all the girls from the 'jet-set', fresh from completing some 'liftings', and with some 'top-model' who just loves 'body-fitness'. 'Aperitivos' have even been replaced by cocktails.

On TV, journalists, those who are not 'free-lance', do not have a 'programa', but a magazine. When the announcer says the word 'OK' several times and dances like a spinning top thing on stage, it is called a show. The important thing is to be watched during 'prime time' hours. In between, of course, you no longer see 'anuncios', but spots which, apart from being better, allow you to do some 'zapping' (changing channels quickly!).

But it isn't all a one-way street, just say the only American-accented Spanish word that we have exported to the world: the word SIESTA.

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