I hear new words all the time, look them up in my dictionary, and then can’t remember their meaning the next time I encounter them. Sometimes, I learn the meaning in such a way that I think I’ll never forget it.
A couple of weeks ago, I was sitting at the bar in San Benedetto trying to read the newspaper. The frontpage headline showed a picture of the destruction caused by the flooded Pò River in Northern Italy, with this superimposed over it:
“Il Pò Paura, Incubo Pieno”
I got that there was fear because of the Pò flooding and that something was full, and I could appreciate the alliteration, but I had no idea what “incubo” meant.
Using my stellar etymological skillz, I wondered why the river was full of a demon. That couldn’t be right.
I did what I often do in situations like this when I’m too lazy to look it up in my €5 “pictionary”, as it’s called by our friend, A.
I asked F.:
“What it means?”
“You know ‘dream’?”
“Dream, no good.”
“Ahhhh. Dream no good. Nightmare. Full of nightmares!”
I also like to think that my bad English grammar, while doing nothing to help F. learn proper English, does wonders for my learning Italian grammar.