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July 22, 2005

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Larry

Well now, how would a visitor deal with the signs I see all over downton DC.... Don't block the box. This sign was in the middle of the block directly adjcent to a block of blocks about a block from where I parked my car! It was a good thing that I wasn't blocked in or I would have felt like a total blockhead!

vlad

incredible how beautiful things can be said about a block. :)

Noel

For what it's worth, Mexico uses two words for "block," in the American sense. A "cuadra" is a unit of distance. A "manzana," on the other hand, is a unit of area --- essentially, what Americans mean when they say something like "go around the block," or "a six-block area."

Apartment blocks are just "departamentos" or "depas," although sometimes people will use the word "conjunto." A "complejo" is just a neurosis, unless you're talking to a Chicano, in which case it means "conjunto."

Now that you're thoroughly bored, I'll complement Doug on a very evocative post, and suggest that he should write a book someday.

Bernard Guerrero

The terms "cuadra" and "manzana" are used in the same fashion in Cuban Spanish, FWIW. Any idea how the term for "apple" ended up being used to describe an urban unit of area, or whether it's at all connected to the common term for NYC?

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