Words and phrases I am now able to more or less effortlessly drop into sentences and conversations:
- Ma dai!
- Ma scherz’!
- Che scherz’
- Ma come mai!
- The Italian for the following: catafalque, fraud, blackmail. threat, graft, racketeering, caporalato, various types of rain and thunderstorms, how to roast a pigeon, Pellegrino Altusi, the problems with windows in historic palazzi, the state of Italian public education, Italian pensions, lordo versus netto, leftover food, the various forms of what we know as “mafia” in America, Principe di Casale, and much, much more.
- Speakers of English and Spanish are far too affectionate toward gerundive constructions.
- Discussions and further illumination of readings from the liturgical year.
Last, but not least, and for those of you who read the “cenci” post, I learned yesterday that the pastries are cut from dough into rectangular raglike shapes, recalling the wool or cotton rags used to dust or mop, then thrown into the hot oil, then dredged out and thrown together like a heap of rags and dusted (DUSTED) with sugar. A rag, in Italian, is a cencio. I was ordering a rag with my espresso. But the team at Paszkowski did not correct me. Rag, rag, rag. Gimme one of them yummy rags for 80 centesimi, I’ll nibble it with my macchiato, please.