Sunday, April 09, 2006


I don't know about Spanish, but I suspect that the Italian language doesn't even exist. It's a confidence trick played by the Italians on everyone else; a way of making fools of us all. Sure, there are Italian dictionaries and lexicons, but they just wrote those in the nineteenth century to add a bit of verisimilitude to the joke, to make it that much more convincing.
God knows how they actually communicate, but I suspect it's a little bit like opera, involving lots of wild gestures, a woman who can scream at extremely high pitches, and a man dressed in black with a moustache and a gun. If I ever taught Italian to anyone, we'd just listen to Verdi operas for a few hours, then I'd give one of them a gun, and that would be it.

English is another matter entirely. English-English is a confidence trick that the English tried to pull on the rest of the world, but nobody fell for. Australian-English is a confidence trick pulled by the Australians on the Australians. And American English is a confidence trick pulled by the rest of the world on the Americans.


Caz said...

Sooooooo, what you’re trying to say, in your pseudo-English, is that we’re all speaking jibberish?

TimT said...

Well, I speak gibberish all the time, so it makes sense to me ...

It's an old joke. I remember reading a Philip Sidney essay where he criticises English poets who constantly use other languages when they are not even able to master the English language correctly.

Caz said...

Yes, gibberish would do it too. :-)

Ah, Englishh poets appropriating other languages - pretentious gits.

Actually I hate it when any writer throws in a whole slab of French, or German, or Yiddish text, as if we can all share the dreadfully clever joke, or the gravity of the plot twist - which we would, of course, if only we could read French, German, or Yiddish.

TimT said...

Ha, I looked at your comment and somehow replaced the word 'jibberish' with 'gibberish' in my mind.

I think it has to do with my upbringing; whenever I speak to dad, he uses the word 'gibberish' about me with alarming frequency ...

Aunty Marianne said...

T.S. Eliot and bits of Ancient Greek and Italian. Gets right up my nose.

It's 'cos he started out a monolingual Yank and felt he had to make up for it, I reckon.

Email: timhtrain - at -

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