Gaycelona versus Gayxample – does Graham Keeley ever know what he’s talking about?

As seen in this fluff piece by the Guardian’s Man In Spain for nice hotels under €100 in Barcelona:

Hotel California

Great value for money considering its locaton around the corner from La Rambla. The California offers decent, clean rooms and markets itself as gay friendly, though this is more subtly played than in hotels like Axel, in the “Gaycelona” district of Barcelona.

As any fule know, the so-called gay district is called ‘Gayxample’ from the Eixample neighbourhood. It seems that Graham Keeley’s articles either consist of reheating AP and El País stories or churning out ignorant tosh. Has no one at the Guardian yet noticed that while Keeley is filing tons more stories on Spain than there used to be, they are predominantly ripped off or simply inaccurate? Maybe it’s reading Flat Earth News but this guy is really beginning to annoy me.

Guardian, sort it out!

P.S. I was going to say that Graham Keeley doesn’t know his arse from his elbow but I suspect that I’d have been picked up for bad taste. So I didn’t.

25 thoughts on “Gaycelona versus Gayxample – does Graham Keeley ever know what he’s talking about?

  1. Well said. I’ve had some personal dealings with this guy myself and he’s very rude. I didn’t realise he was now contributing to The Guardian but it wouldn’t surprise me what you are saying. Funnily enough, my Dad stayed in that Hotel California when he came to visit and also gave it the thumbs up.

  2. I have to say, Gayxample, although the original term to refer to Barcelona’s gay area (though by no means anything resembling a real neighborhood) and semi known in the rest of Spain (many of my friends have never heard the term and if ever a gay neighborhood comes up in conversation it is Chueca, and not the Gayxample that is mentioned), it means very little outside of Spain.

    Although not a fan of Keeley, I must say that Gaycelona has a nicer ring to it than Gayxample. For foreign readers, especially English speakers, it does round off the idea of a gay city more so than Gayxample, which, etymologically speaking, sounds more like “Gay example” (example of what?) or “gay sample” than a gay neighborhood of any kind.

    Yes, I know, those who care to find out will, but I quite like the word Gaycelona. It trips off the tongue much better than Gay-drid, or Lon-gay, or Gay-ris.

  3. Anthony – I believe that Chueca is actually the gay area of Madrid. Not that I’m an expert on this.

    Yes, ‘Gay-celona’ isn’t that bad but it’s not in usage and I think it’s a bit rich for Keeley to coin a new name for something that already has one.

    As to Gay-drid, Lon-Gay and Gay-ris, this is a dangerous new direction. Following that model, I’d have been born in Gay-mouth.

  4. Chueca is Madrid’s gay neighborhood. I live there.

    And you are right, it is not a word in usage, but I
    don’t think it is too bad to coin a word which actually makes more sense to English-speakers.

    Gayxample just doesn’t do it- not even in Spanish (or, dare I say it, Catalan!).

    Gotta say, loving Gay-mouth! LOL

  5. The Guardian makes its money from attracting abusive pillocks who click on ads and buy silly chairs, not from serious journalism. Inventing toponyms in order to ring more bells with abusive pillocks may for all I know be a part of that strategy.

  6. Incidentally, kalebeul makes its money from attracting abusive pillocks who click on ads. It also has some silly chairs for sale. What do you call a Sapphist sixth generation video game console? Lesbox.

  7. Who cares if ‘Gaycelona’ sounds better to English speakers? I mean, do Anglosaxon countries think about foreigners when they coin new words?

    If they don’t get the origin of the word Gayxample, they better look it up (it takes 2 minutes with Google and Wikipedia).

    This reminds me of northern tourists calling the city Barça (like the football club) instead of Barna, because ‘Barna doesn’t sound good to me’. Get outta here!

  8. Grey….

    It was an English-speaker who came up for the word and did so for an English-speaking newspaper.

    Why are you so angry?

    Chill man, its only a word.

  9. Oh no, I’m not so angry. All I’m trying to say here is English-speaking people should try to get the ‘beauty’ of other languages. It’s not possible to get the word ‘gayxample’ with an Anglosaxon ‘mentality’. It’s like I was trying to appreciate strange English words with the same mental mechanisms I use for Catalan words.

    So, in this case, it would have been much better the author had written the original catalan concept explaining its origin and its pronunciation. Using a word that doesn’t exist, that is not in usage just because it sounds ‘cooler’ or ‘easier’ to pronunce for English-speaking people is pathetic. I’d take it like they are considering I’m not able to get into other cultures, like I do when Spaniards or Catalans do the same thing with English concepts.

  10. The way Barna sounds to English-speaking people is pointless since Barcelona is not an Anglosaxon city :).

  11. Grey – please don’t chuck this ‘Anglo-Saxon’ nonsense around. The English are made up of more than one tribe. I’m English but I’m much more of a Celt than anything else.

  12. Wasn’t there an article not long ago about how most of the population of the British Isles being originally from the Iberian peninsula?

    A book too…

  13. Well I think the Celts come from northern Spain too… in fact, we might have more claim on Barcelona than the Visigoths who have it now 🙂

  14. The Celts are a bit of a mythical tribe. As for claims on Barcelona….welcome to the XXIst century. If you have a claim on Barcelona, does that mean Madrid has a claim on the UK as a whole? Silly isn’t it?

    Colonialism is dead. Thank F**ck for that!

  15. Of course Tom, but I believe English is now more important and relevant for let’s say Northern Celts (Ireland, Scotland, Wales…) than any other language. In fact, their original languages are almost about to disappear (except Welsh, perhaps) so you are Anglo-Saxon (not being an ethnic concept here but a concept concerning English-speaking nations) when it comes to your language identity. English is the mental structure you (or if not you, most of you) use to decide if Barna sounds cool or not.

  16. “”Colonialism is dead” – try telling the Iraqis that.”

    I wish it were alive and well in Iraq’s case. It would not be the mess it is in now.

  17. ‘Barna’ is pronounced the same as the Irish word ‘Bearna’ which means ‘gap’.

    I hope that adds to the debate.

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