Monday, March 18, 2013


by Edd Doerr

"How Beer Gave Us Civilization" is the title of psychiatrist Jeffrey Kahn's interesting piece in the March 17 NY Times. It's worth reading. And it reminded me of a sentence I had written years ago: "La cerveza es la fundacion de la civilizacion" ("Beer is the foundation of civilization"). I was not thinking of anthropology or archeology when I scribbled that, but, rather, of demonstrating the most noticeable difference between the Spanish spoken in Spain and that of Latin America. In Spain the "c" or "z" before a  vowel is pronounced like "th" whereas in Latin America they are pronounced like "s". No big deal, but more important than the fact that Spaniards use the second person plural but Latin Americans do not. And, of course, Spaniards tend to be less religious than Latin Americans.

1 comment:

Gadfly said...

I've read reviews of the book in specific and the idea in general. I find it interesting, at best, and almost SEO-hypish. If it had been about wine, or "wine" from other fruits, I'd be more likely to believe it. Humans would have seen drunk elephants or whatever, known something about the intoxication of rotten fruit, and gone from there. But, the only way they'd know about rotten grain becoming intoxicating is from that grain having first been stored. And, that storage would have been for food purposes.