Portuguese translation of Zuck's Empire of Oily Rags

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/07/16/excluirfacebook.html

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I wonder if the Portuguese version of the title carries the same colloquial implications as it does in English. I suppose that an oily rag is an oily rag, wherever you encounter it, and equally prone to combustion.

It’s a really great title, @doctorow

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What is an oily rag?

An old, unwashed cleaning cloth that has been used to remove unwanted oil from around machinery and other places where oil accumulates.

The combustion of improperly stored oily rags is cited as one of the common causes of accidental fires. In English you could say that they are an accident waiting to happen.

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So It is an idiom, isn’t it? I think it has lost some of its impact by being translated literally.

I think we have an equivalent meaningful expression, but I can not remember now.

I agree with you and with the text. People Will only Change their minds after the tragedy.

I have enough problems with Spanish, but then, I’m terrible at other languages.

The translation of this article is very nice. But oily rags… I was thinking in a filthy kitchen of a lousy restaurant. The chef with a stained rag on his shoulders…

I seem to recall a sequence from the Simpsons where the the “camera” pans past all the various labeled fire hazards including “oily rags”. At the time I saw it, I laughed, wondering why these things would be kept, much less kept in a labeled box.

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Makes sense but I was a night man at a Salvation Army once when a fire broke out in the warehouse and, yep, it was spontaneous combustion from oily rags so I know this is actually a thing.

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