What a difference an ñ makes

Posted on 22 Dec 2009 at 4:13pm

Jesús Chaíréz
Jesús Chaíréz

Yesterday, the Mexico City legislature passed a bill giving same-sex couples there the legal right to marry, and allowing same-sex couples to adopt.

Today, I contacted — via Facebook — my friend Jesús Chaîréz, who used to live here in Dallas but moved to Mexico City last year after he retired.

“So,” I asked him, “What’s the mood like there in Mexico City? What do you think, personally, about this new law legalizing same-sex marriage?”

He sent me back an answer, which you can read on page one of our Christmas Day issue, in print and on the Web, and so I sent a reply thanking him for his help, and wishing him “feliz Navidad and prospero ano.” For you non-Spanish speakers, that’s “Merry Christmas and a prosperous new year.” Or so I thought.

That’s about the extent of my Spanish, and as it turns out, I got it wrong, as Jesús pointed out in a giggly Facebook e-mail. It seems that I inadvertently wished him a Merry Christmas and a prosperous a**hole.

See, I forgot the ñ, and that makes all the difference. As Jesús wrote: “One does need the ñ in año. Because año = year and ano = A.hole!!!”

So Jesús, please forgive my mistake, and to all my friends out there, feliz Navidad and prospero año!

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