In a word. . . budget

If there were more non-drivers like us, consider how attractive our cities might be

 

Hello Paschal,

I would never take you for a lamb. Or a candle. But your name is usually associated with Easter or people born around that Christian festival.

I gather, however, that you are a September baby. Oh, and happy 43rd. Belated, I know. How very remiss of me, and you preparing your first budget too.

Not very clever, particularly as I am about to make a pitch for that most deserving, if taken for granted, section of the Irish population – non-drivers.

Yet, that name. It is usually spelled Pascal in English. Pasquale in Italy, Pascual in Spain. It’s the “h”. It has me stumped. Now I have nothing against aitches. Some of my best friends are aitches. Some even have aitches in their name.

But Paschal is an adjective, an add-on, which you are most assuredly not. Not even where Leo is concerned.

As with success, Paschal has many fathers. Such as the Latin paschalis meaning “Passover/Easter”; the Greek pascha for Passover; the Aramaic pasha for “pass over”; and Hebrew pesah, from pasah “he passed over”.

And Pasche was an early Middle English word for “Easter”. Hence the Paschal Lamb (a reference to the lamb slaughtered at Passover) and the Paschal candle lit on Holy Saturday night . . .

. . . er . . . how did we get here?

Ah, yes, next Tuesday’s budget and non-drivers. Of which I am one. People should be encouraged to be as virtuous as us by a hefty reduction in our income tax, the better to reduce carbon emissions and the likelihood of a Hurricane Donald washing us all away any time soon.

If there were more non-drivers like us, consider how attractive our cities might be as more and more people got around on public transport or taxi. How much better too for the birds of the air, the fishes of the sea, who neither sow or reap?

Consider too the great number of lives that would be saved through dramatic reduction of accidents with less cars in this new green Ireland fit for Leo and Eoghan and maybe yourself on those heady runs after the elusive Republic of Opportunity through clear air heavy with oxygen.

So, what do you think?

Budget from Middle French bouget, for leather pouch/small bag/sack. And Latin bulga, for leather bag. From idea of a minister keeping fiscal plans in a bag/wallet.

inaword@irishtimes.com

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