Friday 18 September 2020

The Joy of Discovery

In the midst of mental chaos, I managed to take 20 minutes for Italian reading yesterday. I am at a very tricky part of a book, in which the author imitates an encyclopaedia in describing the setting. The words, my tutor assured me when I asked, are old-fashioned and one of them he didn't recognise the the context. 

One of the most recent head scratchers was "martora", which my dictionary told me was a witness or a martyr. The online dictionary I was consulting assured me the same. This seemed unlikely, since martore in the book are a threat to poultry.  So I put the word into the Google search engine, no doubt adding to Google's psychological profile of User 987558977 (or whoever I am), and Google suggested "martora animale." I clicked on it, and here is what turned up: 

I was delighted. Not only did I find the word at long last, I got to see photos of a cute poultry-killing beast.   Meanwhile, I wouldn't have known what a European pine marten was had it bitten my toe. The more I know, the more I know I don't know (unlike, possibly, Google). However, the flash of discovery was a real joy. 

Update: We decanted the apple cider today. There was some evaporation and we avoided the gunk at the bottom of the fermentation bin, so we estimate we have about 9 L now.


1 comment:

  1. I look forward daily to the joy of reading your blog :)