Saturday, November 3, 2007

Barbarians and Technology

I am reading "Wilful Behavior", by Donna Leon, a murder mystery set in Venice. Although it is written in English, certain items are only referred to by their Italian names. She never writes "cell phone," always "telefonino," which I take to be "little phone." Clearly, Leon thinks the Italian term is superior, or at least more colorful, and I would have to agree. It seems especially effective when we learn from Leon's detective that his wife thinks of modern humans as "barbarians with telefonini."

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