No future, seven words to name it


"The day after tomorrow" and "the day before yesterday": you Englishmen could have come up with something a little more creative, couldn't you?

In Italian, we use "l'altro ieri" (literally: "the other yesterday") and "dopodomani" ("aftertomorrow"). A little bit better, but pretty much the same lack of creativity after all.

In his masterpiece novel-diary "Cristo si è fermato a Eboli", Carlo Levi wrote about les miserables from Basilicata, in Southern Italy, that is to say, about the extremely poor farmers and peasants he spent a whole year with, having been confined by the Fascist government in the small and bare village of Aliano in 1936.

Farmers in Aliano had no future, Levi wrote, but they had seven words to name it:

crai (tomorrow), pescrai (the day after tomorrow), followed by pescrille, pescruflo, maruflo, maruflone and maruflicchio.

No future, seven words to name it.

(Read a more complete text on this subject, in Italian, here).

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