Blog/ a bit of buzz about Rome and Italy.

Berlusconi: The Linguist

A story I’ve told at countless dinner parts, when asked why I have such a variety of slang in my Italian, is how my very proper nonna expressly told me to speak only proper Italian, no dialect or slang.  And to complement the invalidity of said slang, I was asked to document every single slang word and expression that ever crossed my ears.  Over the years, I have sent her thousands of cleverly acquired words in letter format which she kindly reviews in her vocubulario and sends back to me, corrected with red pen.  In brief, none of these words “exist” in proper Italian.  Technology has made our review of language much faster with Renaissance-era Accademia della Crusca‘s contemporary incarnation. For the novice linguist and semioligist:

  • “the Accademia della Crusca is among the leading institutions in the field of research on the Italian language, acquiring and spreading, in Italian society as a whole and especially in schools, historical knowledge of the Italian language and awareness of its present evolution, in the context of the cross-linguistic exchanges that are so common in the present world”

And thus I bring you to Silvio Berlusconi, his use of Italian language and the introduction of patonza to Italian studies.  Keyed in a crusca search yields nothing, but in my well-researched vocabulary patonza equals a smuttier version vajajay,  Thanks to recent wiretapping, Berlusconi has revealed himself to be quite the cunning linguist (yes, I did just write that) though my Nonna and the Accademia may argue the validity of his vocabulary.

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One comment on “Berlusconi: The Linguist

  1. This is hilarious. Nothing like Silvio Berlusconi to give us a little vocabulary lesson. I have lived in Italy for 18 years and I have heard patatina used a lot (I have two daughters), but I had never heard Patonza before. I also spend plenty of time on news stories with Italian male cameramen and photographers and I have heard plenty of talk of tresche and trombe but somehow I missed the patonza. Thanks for that one Silvio, the linguist!

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