I asked edmndclotworthy
to ask me five questions and here they and the answers are1) Considering the global credit crisis, would you agree that this is a good time for IKEA to promote its mattresses as safe repositories for peoples savings?
That would depend on the mattresses of course, the rubber foam mattresses have very little space for money, stocks and value papers. The spring mattresses would work and if they made pockets inside them especially for valuables I think it would be a top-selling article.2) What is your opinion of Sven Goran Eriksson’s coaching abilities?
I know very little of his current coaching style. He did however manage to get Lazio to win the Italian league and I think he did an okay job with the english national team; the problem being of course that the english expect their team to win all championships, despite the fact that the best players in the Premier League are foreigners. Personally I like his restrained, well-behaved style, but I am a little suspicious of coaches who wear suits and not track suits.
He did, however, have a decisive impact on swedish football and was very much the man behind "my" team, IFK Göteborg's, international success. What he did was to further develop the systematic football brought to Sweden by the young english coaches Bob Houghton and Roy Hodgson in the 1970s. This system with support and pressure on the ball-holder changed the way football was played in Europe. It was not only him of course, but that a swedish amateur team managed to win the UEFA cup twice left an impact. Unlike most teams in Sweden we still play with a "zone defense".3) I’m always impressed by the quality of written and spoken English in your part of the world. Do your countrymen take a pride in that or is there an element of resentfulness at the linguistic laziness of the countries with English as their first language?
There is a myth in Sweden, recently made much fun of by satirists, that we are "so good at english". Berglin (one of the satirists) made a funny cartoon, showing a staircase with the different levels of english knowledge, when it comes to richness and depth, idiomatic usage etc, beginning with "pretty good", continuing with "good", "wrote his dissertation in english", "real anglophile" and then at the top "reasonably smart english 12 year old girl". We're not as good as we think we are. Listening to lectures in "swinglish", given for a swedish audience, is a painful experience.
But imperfect knowledge is of course better than none at all. The leading courtier and nobleman of the 17th century swedish court, Magnus Gabriel de la Gardie, said that "a person who knows only his own language is nothing more than an animal". While I do not agree with him I feel some pride in the fact that I can think and express myself fairly freely in another language than my own. I just wish my german was better.4) Heard any good Norwegian jokes lately?
Nope. They are very rarely good. And not as fashionable as in my childhood. Possibly because of Norway becoming a strong economy and better than us at skiing.5) Why did Volvos in the 1970s and 1980s always have their lights on?
I have no idea. But my husband told me that it was the standard to have the "half-lights" on, since you have to according to swedish law. So for us it was the problem that foreign cars didn't have them on and people not used to that forgot.
Now it is my turn. Comment and I will try to come up with questions.