Hello. Goodbye.

He texts me to say that the dogs were exhausted (destroyed, as he says) when he left for work.

He had taken them out for a walk and he lets them play, even in the extreme temperatures that we’ve been having (up to 36° with a “feel like” of the low 40s). But he had taken them out early, so it wasn’t so hot (still, it was 30° at 7.30).

He said they were so exhausted that they didn’t even say hello to him before he left for work.

Italians have a bit of a problem with “hello” and “goodbye” since they don’t differentiate. Salutare, ciao, salve, etc. are used for both hello and goodbye. They don’t really quite get (I’m SURE Chiara does ;-) ) when is the right time to use “hello” or “goodbye”.

As a default “hello” is used.

I try and explain, in a reply text that he should have said “goodbye” and not “hello” as “hello” is used when first meeting/seeing someone and “goodbye” is used when leaving.

However, F is a stubborn barsteward sometimes. He replied that he understood but that, if the dogs don’t see him for 2 seconds it is like the first time they have met. Which is, of course, kind of true.

And it made me laugh. And that’s why I love him.

I replied that he is the only person that will argue with me if I try to correct bad English – and I don’t often do it with him!

But the argument did have a point, as those of you with dogs will know.

The video of Hello Goodbye by The Beatles was the obvious choice :-)

This is the Endy ……. and other Italian/English things.

I don’t and can’t get upset about it.

F’s Mum has a problem with my name and it’s become a bit of a joke within the family. Even though she has been corrected a number of times, she still calls me Wendy. It makes me laugh and I thought it was only her but it seems not.

M, as I mentioned in a previous post, booked tables in the two restaurants for me. As she booked the table, in both cases, she told them that it was Andy with a “y” (ipsilon), just to be clear.

For Griffone, the table was, indeed, reserved. There was a handwritten note on the table with my name. Except it wasn’t quite my name – it was, in fact, written as Endy.

It made me smile.

On the differences between the language, Italians (those who know something of English) realise that adding “ly” to an adjective creates an adverb. So quick becomes quickly, horrible becomes horribly, etc.

Except, of course, for exceptions. One of these exceptions is “hard”, especially used in situations where you mean “a lot” – like work.

It makes me laugh to read “I was working hardly” when what they mean is “I was working hard” :-) But it’s not really their fault – the rule is well and truly broken for this word.

And, of course, there are those words that we use that have more than one meaning – except that, the meanings don’t always coincide – making them, somewhat, “false friends”. If you say that someone is/seems miserable you mean (quite clearly) that they are/seem unhappy, sad, etc.

Unfortunately, miserabile, in Italian, when used to describe a person, is something like low-life or wretch. Not quite the same thing.

I’m learning a new language

Well, you might say “of course you are” but it’s not quite what you think.

I’m having various conversations with a girl who’s about 14.  Don’t get the wrong idea here – it’s not a bad thing.  She is the daughter of Best Mate.  And the conversation is the sort of general conversation that one would have with the teenage daughter of your Best Mate – except for one thing – it’s via Facebook and so is more like texting or chatting online.

And, as she’s 14, although she uses English it’s not quite the English that I write here.  And on more than one occasion I have had to ask Best Mate what a certain word or acronym means.

Because, let’s face it, I am old.  I remember mobile phones when they first came in and were almost as big as a small briefcase.  And the first portable computer was like a laptop – but the screen was a normal screen that you had to carry separately.  So, texting and chatting online requires that I learn a different language.

Some examples would be soz.  This is short for sorry.  Said is written sed.  How gets the ‘h’ dropped off the front.

All these things make remarkable sense.  However, I do find it difficult to do this.  I’ve just about mastered using ‘u’ instead of ‘you’ and ‘r’ instead of ‘are’ but I don’t even do that all the time, so writing ‘i sed i wuz soz’ I would still be writing as ‘I said I was sorry’ – even in text form, even going to the trouble of making the ‘i’ a capital.

And, in addition, I text Italians.  For me it is almost unthinkable as an ex English Teacher to write the short form.  The best I can do with F is to write ‘cos’ instead of ‘because’ (and even with that, the first time I did, he asked what it meant).

English is a wonderful, rich language (although the Italians always think theirs is better and richer – and, being a guest in their country I would not disagree – at least in front of them) but having been with V’s family (many of whom are first-generation from Jamaica), I became very aware of the the fact that there is no really ‘pure’ English.  It’s all bastardised all over the world.  Even here they take words and give them slightly different meanings (e.g. relax, which they don’t use verb even when it should be in the context in which they use it).

And so, this new form of English, widely used (I guess) by most English people (maybe even English-speaking people) under the age of, let’s say, 30 – where will it end up?  In 20 years will the common spelling of ‘said’ be ‘sed’ and ‘sorry’ be ‘soz’ – at least in the UK?

Every language changes over time but I suspect new technology and the need to type words on keyboards, touch pads and keypads could accelerate the changes to the language.  And since I know the same thing happens here (‘che’ becomes ‘k’, ‘per’ becomes ‘x’), I wonder if all languages are now under some pressure to change to meet the growing need of the younger generations to be able to communicate in ways that we never even imagined when we were at school.

Just a thought.

Talking about you; Where English words come from; An open window

The number of visitors I get for the ‘new’ (well, it’s not so new, really) blog is higher than the old one (a little). But it’s not that that is the surprise. It’s where the people come from.

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Post 200; Mongolian Barbeque and other food for the weekend; Clowny WILL be a real word!

Well, first, this is the 200th (published) post!* Considering I have been doing this blog for a number of years, 200 doesn’t seem that much. But it is some sort of milestone, I guess.

My 2nd week back at work and, the weekend just gone was also back to normal, if not busier.

Friday we were supposed to go and see FfI, who had the really bad accident at the end of July. However, she was on new drugs and very groggy so it was rearranged for Saturday. Then, on Saturday morning, A texted to suggest the Mongolian Barbeque restaurant. We agreed. So it was, kind of, apero at FfI’s about 5, then 9.30 we were at the Mongolian Barbeque. What a great place.

We had starters, which were “pick your own”. I chose a few small meatballs with a gravy with some roast potatoes and, incredibly, they tasted just like faggots. Now I really love faggots – you know, Brains – and we can’t get them here, so I was delighted to taste these.

Then we went up, selected our raw meat and then gave it to the cooks to griddle. And it all tasted superb. All this for a fixed price of €18. Great value for money. Even better for Sunday Lunch where the fixed price is €12. It doesn’t include drink but it’s still not bad.

The only thing to remember is that, should you not eat everything on your plate that you have chosen, they make a surcharge of between €5-10! Can’t say I blame them really as it ensures that people don’t just pile their plate and leave a load of stuff to be thrown away. However, this is a bit of a struggle for V who, as normal with free food, takes much more than he needs – and then can’t eat it! So he spent a while trying to convince everyone else to take some. Luckily, there was A – who is more like a human dustbin!!

Anyway, the food was very, very good and the experience of queuing up and watching your food being cooked, is also good. Worth checking out. It’s on Via Monte Nero in Milan, should you choose to go. Do book as it’s very popular.

Sunday was a really nice brunch with N followed by a surprise visit by friends from the UK who were catching flights back today. For the price of a nice Indian meal they stayed with us. And it was great to see them.

V was explaining about Dino to them, with the usual, ‘I never wanted another dog’ and he actually said ‘he does many clowny things!’. Now, I’m not sure why he said it. Nobody picked up on it and I said nothing. Maybe he remembered the word when we played scrabble that time with S & P. The story is that, in order to get a decent score, I made up the word and, although P, in particular, was sure it was a made-up word, no-one challenged me officially for fear of losing a go.

I made a very good explanation of why it was a real word, even though I knew that it probably wasn’t.

Anyway, now that V has said it to others, I’m sure that, in a few years, it will enter the dictionary and become a real word. And, when it does, you will know that I invented it!

It seems a perfect end to my 200th post, don’t you think?

* Unfortunately, not any more. I have deleted some posts since the move here. This is probably somewhere around the 195th post now.