Or so said a German court in ruling that a translator was entitled to the higher rate he had been promised for an urgent translation by the Dortmund public prosecutor’s office. After the fact, the prosecutor’s office wanted to pay him a lower rate; the court said it was all right in theory to break the agreement (!), but the higher rate should apply in this case because Latin-American Spanish is harder to translate than Castilian (!!). On the other hand, the court decided that spaces should be left out of the count because they “are not part of a system of graphic signs that are used for the purpose of human communication” (sie nicht zu einem System graphischer Zeichen, die zum Zweck menschlicher Kommunikation verwendet werden, gehören); supply as many exclamation marks as you like. This fine specimen of judicial bizarrerie comes courtesy of Margaret Marks.