|I had noticed, in other foreign languages, that verbs are bred in families,
and that the members of each family have certain features or resemblances
that are common to that family and distinguish it from the other families--the
other kin, the cousins and what not. I have noticed that this family-mark
is not usually the nose or the hair, so to speak, but the tail--the Termination,--and
that these tails are quite definitely differentiated; insomuch that an expert
can tell a Pluperfect from a Subjunctive by its tail as easily and as certainly
as a cowboy can tell a cow from a horse by the like process, the result
of observation and culture. I should explain that I am speaking of legitimate
verbs, those verbs which in the slang of the grammar are called Regular.
There are others--I am not meaning to conceal this; others called Irregulars,
born out of wedlock, of unknown and uninteresting parentage, and naturally
destitute of family resemblances, as regards all features, tails included.
But of these pathetic outcasts I have nothing to say.
- "Italian with Grammar"
AI image created by R. Kent Rasmussen
|I cannot speak the language. I am too old
now to learn how, also too busy when I am busy, and too idolent when I am
not; wherefore some will imagine that I am having a dull time of it. But
it is not so. The 'help' are all natives; they talk Italian to me. I answer
in English. I do not understand them, they do not understand me; consequently
no harm is done and everybody is satisfied. In order to be just and fair
I throw in an Italian word when I have one.
- quoted in San Francisco Call, April 7, 1904, p. 8.
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