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Despite Chicness, Italy Might Say Arrivederci to English Words

Before it was the national language, Italian was just the regional dialect of Tuscany. But, since it went on to become the official language in the 1800s, Italy is ready to protect it from an English invasion. The influential Dante Alighieri Society, similar to France's Académie française, wants to erase words like "le weekend, "cool" and "OK" from conversational and written Italian.

Some Italians consider English words chic (er, wait what's the English word for chic?); but, the cultural institute is making a push for pure Italian, instead of "Anglitaliano." In a globalizing word, such protection may be crucial to maintaining the integrity of a language. Then again, languages are first of all a mode of communication and maybe the meaning behind "cool" just can't be translated.

Italians should know that Americans use Italian words, too! . . . at least at Starbucks. But Americans beware — if you order a "latte" in Italy, you'll get a glass of milk!


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