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  • Francesco Ciotti

Buon Anno!

Letters matter! In Italian, double consonants are given double value, we don't just roll over the two letters as if they were one, we give each their due emphasis. A good example is the English word that we use in Italian - tennis. We pronounce it ten-nis, with weight on the double n in the middle of the word. If you pronounce tennis "all-americana" (in the American manner), no harm is done. But sometimes not giving the double consonant its full value can drastically change the meaning.


That is the case with the second word in the title of this blog: anno. Which means year. If you do not give the deserved emphasis to the double Ns, you end up saying the word "ano", which in English means anus. My father-in-law, who was known for his enthusiastic zest to try to say things in foreign languages - learned the hard way. One time, when visiting us in Italy over the holidays, we entered a restaurant on January 1, and he wanted to greet the owner enthusiastically, so attempted to say Buon Anno, but did not give the proper emphasis, and therefore wished the owner a Happy Anus! Needless to say, my father-in-law reverted to the phrase that did not have any double consonants: Buon Natale - and decided to use that no matter what time of the year it was!


So, in the spirit of buon everything - I wish you all a Buon Anno! May we safely and wisely navigate the first months of this year in order to embrace togetherness, travel and hugs in a few months!


With due emphasis: Buon Anno! Francesco

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