Viva Veritas!

The graphic seen on all Exit signs here in Italy is of a little green guy running like hell for his very life, but let’s tell they truth here: when it comes to actual languages, some are a lot prettier than others:

Here’s the English on the plastic bag the typical hotel provides for your dirty laundry: “Linen to be washed and ironed,” it says. Then there’s the French phrase for the same thing: “Linge à laver ou à repasser,” It’s OK but it’s nothing great, right? And forget the message in German: “Schmutz-oder bügelwäsche. ””Schmuz? Oder?” I mean how unpretty is that?

But in Italian? In Italian the message is just plain sublime. Dirty clothes or not you just can’t argue with “Biancheria da lavare o stirare.”It makes you want to break into song, am I wrong? And it almost- ALMOST – makes you forget how very frank and practical Europeans really are, because not only do the Exit signs tell it like it is and even though I myself just used it to wash my socks in, this little dandy gizmo which we have seen in four of our last four hotels really IS what Mick Dundee called it in that cute first movie that bears his name!

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