Thursday, October 13, 2011


Here is a wonderful example of Italian politeness.
When you say or write something that confuses your listener/reader, he is likely to say "Non ho capito" (I have not understood). The gallant reply is "Anzi, non mi sono spiegato bene" (On the contrary, I didn't explain myself well).
So, my good friend P, you were right to be confused by my message about medical appointments: I said that I would be referred to a surgeon on Wednesday, which is ambiguous, because I meant that my gp will pass me on in due course to a surgeon for further examination (Non mi sono spiegato bene). The confusion is compounded because I wrote Wednesday, when it should have read Thursday. Non mi sono spiegato bene, anzi, ho fatto un ERRORE!
I don't feel too bad about the Wed-Thurs cockup when I remember the story of the Reverend Spooner, who gave the sermon one Sunday in chapel, leaving the congregation in baffled silence. He paused half way down the steps, returned to the pulpit, announced "Of course, during my sermon, when I referred to Aristotle, I meant Saint Paul" and calmly descended the steps again.
My kind of cockupper.

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