14 februar 2007

Us vs them

What looks like the phone directory isn't the White Pages. It isn't a thick dictionary either. It is (only?) a good (but not complete!) Italian grammar! My God! Picture taken while our tutor was explaining the grammer that determines when to use su and when to use sopra; the former means "up" (vado su) or "on" (sulla tavola; the link between su and sulla is another issue) while the latter translates into "over" (quelle e' sopra) but can also be used as "on" (la tavaglio e sopra la tavola). To settle this little issue, as we did with qui, qua (and costi , costa) you just look up the word in the index, and suberge yourself in grammar. And that's exactly why I look a little tired. In fact, I wonder how I have managed not to learn anything useful about grammar Per Se during my endless years affiliated (in one way or another) with educational institutions.

How nice
Consider a mug of American coffee. It is found everywhere. It can be made by anyone. It is cheap?and refills are free. Being largely without flavor it can be diluted to taste. What it lacks in allure it makes up in size. It is the most democratic method ever devised for introducing caffeine into human beings. Now take a cup of Italian espresso. It requires expensive equipment. Price-to-volume ratio is outrageous, suggesting indifference to the consumer and ignorance of the market. The aesthetic satisfaction accessory to the beverage far outweighs its metabolic impact. It is not a drink; it is an artifact.
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