Muscat jisfida l-kritici u imur jiekol hemborger ma' Michelle illejla

Published: March 31, 2009 at 10:30pm
No, actually I'm Ronald McDonald

No, actually I'm Ronald McDonald

As Joseph Muscat’s hamburger clanger does the rounds, he’s decided that the best way to handle it is with defiance. He and Michelle had a hot date tonight – at McDonald’s. They took their babies along as cover (“we went with the kiids”), hoping that we’ve all forgotten that ‘the kids’ are babies – 17 months old and not quite into the whole McDonald’s thing yet.

You have to laugh, really. From all that high drama with the torch on the mount, speaking of new awakenings and of how our forefathers died for il-barrani, to a hamburger eaten out of a box off a tray. Don’t get me wrong – I love their chicken nuggets with sweet-and-sour sauce and McDonald’s in St Julian’s is a late-night port-of-call especially now that it’s been been so stylishly revamped. But I can’t get over the dramatic irony. One minute he’s playing the historical hero at the foot of a monument. The next he’s crowding for a Big Mac.

And still he just doesn’t get it.

24 Comments Comment

  1. Moggy says:

    I wonder what he ordered.

    [Daphne – A big muck.]

    • Moggy says:

      Good one! :D

    • Matthew says:

      Freedom Fries.

    • Jakov says:

      Would Doctor Muscat be eating humble pie this evening in parliament?

      89. IL-PRIM MINISTRU Jipproponi –

      Illi din il-Kamra tistqarr l-apprezzament tagħha għall-mod siewi u dinjituż li bih Dottor Edward Fenech Adami qeda d-dmirijiet tiegħu lejn il-Poplu Malti fil-kariga ta’ President ta’ Malta, u filwaqt li tirringrazzjah ta’ dan, tixtieqlu għomor twil u hieni u aktar servizz għal pajjiżna.

      I am not betting on it.

  2. Jakov says:

    Please have a look at this gem.

    [Daphne – He must have brought some of that Hush back home with him.]

    • MikeC says:

      You have to hand it to him, at least he’s honest. He admits he writes bad English, but more importantly that what he writes is stupid.

      • ASP says:

        “Incredibly enough though I attended to a lot of phone calls today, combined with 100’s of emails telling me that I am in Galizia’s article!”

        The 100s of emails confirm how popular Daphne’s blog is.

        [Daphne – Yes, with Laburisti. They’ve always been my greatest fans.]

      • Jakov says:

        U ejja. Tesagerax.

        “Since I got so much feedback from your article I would be ready to pay Miss Galizia the same amount we pay for a regular billboard in Marsa!”

        Attenta Daphne…ftakar f’Sanderopoli…mani pulite.

        “Since your article made such a hit with so many comments following it and mine….well mine…has 3 only 3 out of which 2 are in my favour and one…is not so convinced about me either!”

        My niece tried to work this out and could not, then came back to me with a possible solution:


  3. jomar42 says:

    He has to be reborn, re-bred, re-educated and reprogrammed before he can understand how to adapt to the (supposedly) responsible position he occupies. Finesse has never been his forte. Reminds me of a character in an old television series called ‘The Hillbillies’. This was before Joseph was born, so he just cannot fathom how much of an ill-bred cowboy he is.

    But that’s what Labour has as a leader(!) and its supporters seem to be happy, so why disturb their bliss? Pity there was no one to snap a picture with his mouth wide open, enough to accommodate a double cheeseburger. I am pretty sure he is well equipped in that department.

  4. Joseph Agius says:

    Oh what a surprise!!!!!!!!!! Is this an article on Joseph Muscat????? I think this is your first time ever you wrote something on the PL leader, am I right?

    [Daphne – WAKE UP AN SMEL DI KOFEE!!!!!! GoNeZI pN!!!????]

  5. Lino Cert says:


  6. Fanny says:

    re Jacov’s link. How does one ‘attend’ a phone call?

    [Daphne – Nattendi ghat-telefonati.]

  7. Anna says:

    Oh dear, if I knew that you were all going to be so interested in what he was eating at McDonalds, I would have looked more closely. What I know is that McDonalds was jam packed with families and teenagers and it took us 20mins queuing to get served. Just before seeing him, I had leaned over and whispered to my friend “Imbaghad jghidu li m’hawn flus fl-idejn!” And then I saw him, of all people. I could have kicked myself for not saying it louder.

    [Daphne – Ah, so he wasn’t there for the ‘berger’ but to make out that he’s a man of the popolin, who takes a raincheck on dinner with the big-shots to eat fast food with The People. Kienx qieghed idoqq Gensna – sorry, GAnsna – fuq l-iPod ukoll. U le. Miskina Malta.]

  8. Peter says:

    On Sander Aguis, or whatever his name is, it does the smarmy comment-writers on this web site no favours to correct those parts of his English that are actually correct. To “attend to s.thing” is perfectly reasonable idiomatic English.
    As a result, it is not so much “Fanny” as “complete tit”.

    [Daphne – As if. One doesn’t attend to telephone calls. One attends to matters/business/one’s duty/the demands of a sick child and so on. Telephone calls are answered or made, not attended to, though they may form part of the overall business to which one must attend that day. Chrysander Agius has a very weak knowledge of the language. It’s most unlikely that he knows even this use of the verb ‘to attend (to)’. Does this sound like idiomatic English to you? “Incredibly enough though I attended to a lot of phone calls today, combined with 100’s of emails telling me that I am in Galizia’s article!”

    What he’s done is translate literally from Maltese. But just in case you still don’t get it: ]

    • Peter says:

      I really don’t want to enter into some gainsaying competition here, but there really is nothing grammatically incorrect as such about attending to a lot of phone calls.
      Stating the opposite and (condescendingly) offering a link that provides me information with which I am already quite familiar does not make the argument any stronger.
      It is quite likely that Sander accidentally chanced upon a correct formulation, although possibly not the one he intended. Had he simply said he “answered a lot of phone calls”, one might be open to presuming he was working in telephone exchange point. Given the context, he might have been better off saying that he “fielded a lot of phone calls”, which would also better convey the drama of his dreadful predicament. But I’m sorry, the fact is that you can attend to a telephone call and there is absolutely no two ways about it.
      The sentence provided is incorrectly punctuated, syntactically inept, semantically confused, and devoid of logic to the point of meaninglessness. But damn it, could people please desist from sniping unless they are in a position to do so.

  9. Peter says:

    Corinne, hmmm, really? Really?! Nice try, and apologies if I come off as a know-it-all here, but you are wrong.

    • Corinne Vella says:

      No, I’m not wrong. “Provides me information” is wrong. I don’t blame you entirely, though. So many people get it wrong, it actually sounds right.

      Here are a few variations on the same theme:

      provides information to me
      provides me with information
      supplies me with information
      supplies information to me
      informs me

      Or you could simply have said “a link that provides information with which….”, seeing as the link provides information as a matter of course.

      • Peter says:

        Uh, I admit you are testing my certainty, but I will still venture another “you are wrong”.
        You argue simply that the verb “to provide” necessarily requires the preposition with the direct object where the indirect object acts as a syntactic intermediary. I challenge you to locate that injunction in any grammatical manual. Or to put it another way, if you insist on perpetuating this debate, you must provide me (with) evidence that supports your thesis.
        Obviously, I am not suggesting that “providing someone with information” is incorrect, but it would have been stylistically inelegant, ahem, in a sentence already containing the aforementioned preposition. Granted, that being the case, I should probably have gone with your final proposal, although it has the fatal shortcoming of being insufficiently ego-centric.

        [Daphne – You will not find all the rules you need in grammar books, Peter. There’s also something called usage. I never learned any grammar, at school or elsewhere. The most useful asset is not a grammar book but an ‘ear’ for a language. That said, I have a small collection of books about usage, the sort published as guides to editors and so on, which are interesting to dip into when I am bored. One of the most recent is Bill Bryson’s (yes, that Bill Bryson) Dictionary for Writers and Editors, which taught me – at last – the difference between ‘to forego’ and ‘to forgo’, apparently two of the most confused words in the language. The first means to ‘go before’ and the second ‘ to give {something) up’. Anyway, Corinne is right about the verb ‘to provide’. ‘With’ is an intrinsic part of it. The verb is, in practice, ‘to provide (with)’. You cannot say ‘he provides me information’ but only ‘he provides me with information’. I admit that it is an easy mistake to make because, coming from another language, we assume that ‘to provide’ must follow the same pattern as ‘to give’ (‘he gives me information’), because the meanings appear the same to us. But no – the meanings are completely different, and the usage is different, too.]

  10. Anna says:

    Actually, Daphne, it did cross my mind that he could have been out on a publicity stunt. Then again, maybe McDonalds were holding a ‘Maltese Celebrities night’ as there was also a popular Maltese DJ. Oh and a popular Maltese TV presenter too!

  11. Peter says:

    Bill Bryson is very good, but a little arbitrary and autocratic about some things. I recall that in one of his books he mocked supposedly improper usage of the word ‘enormity’, which he said is regularly confused with ‘enormousness’.
    Enormity means, he said, a thing of great evil, an abomination. Actually, it can also mean enormousness, so upbraiding someone for misusing the word is wrong. [Daphne – Bill Bryson writes about usage. In that respect, he is entirely correct. I, too, would say “the enormousness of that woman” and “the enormity of the problem” and would never use those two words interchangeably. Let’s put it this way, educated Indians speak perfect English, more so than educated Maltese. But, and here’s the big but, there is always something slightly off kilter, and it’s invariably these little things: sticking to the rules, without an ear for the language.]
    With the example you provide, both spellings (forego and forgo) are applicable to the same meaning (i.e. to give up), although there may be some U.S./British divide on this. At any rate, anybody using the word ‘to forego’ to mean ‘going before’ deserves to be misunderstood, if not ignored altogether. [Daphne – What are you like? Of course not, and here’s a typical example, from a letter or another piece of formal text: “the foregoing…”, which is a reference to the preceding paragraphs.]

    And yes, I suppose that a usage manual can sometimes be a preferable, if not the only, point of reference, although the proper way in which to use a verb is stricto sensu the domain of the grammarian as far as I’m concerned. Indeed, the canon-writers when it comes to style (vide Fowler brothers) invariably formulate their arguments using some specious retroactive application of Latin or Greek rules. If it were all about ‘ears’, as you suggest, then we could argue endlessly about whose linguistic sensibilities are more finely tuned.
    Perhaps this debate could be settled with the aid of a classicist, since I am resolutely sticking to my guns.

    [Daphne – You may stick to your guns all you wish. The fact remains that languages change over time, and they change first through usage, with the rules of grammar following slowly. That is why we no longer speak as they did in the 18th century, and why certain words, or their usage, are listed in the dictionary as archaic. To get back to the original source of this argument, only Maltese people say ‘he provides me information’. It is, literally, a translation from our native tongue: “Jipprovvdili l-informazzjoni.”]

    • Peter says:

      Yes, that would be a compelling case if I were Maltese, but sadly I am not. That said, I consider myself a native Maltese speaker (of sorts) (long story), so perhaps there is something to your fanciful argument.
      On enormity, Bryson cites a contextually amusing case (in Mother Tongue, I believe) that is, however, semantically unfair. Indian, or no Indian.

    • Joe Fenech says:

      One even finds big inconsistencies in language use on the BBC websites… English has become a bit of a bastard language I’m afraid.

  12. Peter P says:

    Yes, English is a bastard language but none the worst for that. English usage is what people use whatever the grammarians may insist. My education was partly in Malta but fractured by war and in my dotage I generally understand Maltese speaking in English better than I do my fellow inhabitants of South Yorkshire.

    English in Malta however is developing as a language of its own: few English would recognise, say, ‘parastatal’ – and I can generally recognise the origin of an English-speaking Maltese, not just by the accent – if indeed he has one.

    My eyesight is poor so please excuse any typos.

Leave a Comment