Mangiat wrote:

> > Seriously, It's really good work. Bravo Sally!
> A thing I hate of English is that he randomly takes foreign words and uses
> them without thinking about their original meaning:
> Italian 'bravo' can be used only for men!!! It wouldn't be a nice thing say
> 'bravo' to a girl, even worse than 'brava' to a boy (the latter means that
> you are speaking to a gay boy, but to a *boy*; the former could mean only
> one thing: the girl is so rude that she resembles a man!)
> For women, we have 'brava':)

People who regularly attend the symphony, I've found, have a habit
of being quite pretensious about that.  I went to a performance of
Orff's _Carmina Burana_ a year or so ago and distinctly remember
that all the people around me were yelling out "Brava!" for the main
female vocalist.

An aside:

But as for people changing the meaning of foreign words when they
borrow them into their own language, it's the same the world over.  Just
last year I was walking down the street and happened to see a store that
specialized in nonconformist toys and gizmos (inflatable mounted moose
heads and the like).  There was one import from Japan that I just had to
buy:  tiny toy transformers.  In one form, they were the usual shining warrior
robots, but in the other, they were everyday food articles -- a bowl of
Ramen and some Japanese herbal tea (ah, nostalgia!).  On the sides of
both when transformed were various kanji characters, which were then,
allegedly, translated into English -- except that the English made utterly
no sense: the Ramen was labeled "Beef retort pouch".  That says, I think,
less about the Japanese, than the extent to which people actually care
whether the words they're using are technically correct or not.

Tom Wier <[log in to unmask]>
"Cogito ergo sum, sed credo ergo ero."