04 February 2008

Biscotti, Hot Pockets, and Dumplings

Would it be correct to say that you're eating a biscotti? Say, you have one piece of that doubly-baked bread, are you eating a biscotti?

Well, if it were just one piece, then it wouldn't be plural, would it? So, it would just be biscotto?

I guess Italian morphology didn't creep in to English.

That is why you don't eat spaghetto, or raviolo. For spaghetti, I can see it, because, nobody eats just one piece of the pasta. There always is plenty of them.

But what about ravioli? What if it were just one? Well, nobody serves it just one either. But what if it were really really large?

Then it wouldn't be ravioli, nor raviolo for that matter. It would be a hot pocket.

It's funny how words behave. Take dumplings, for example. What is the origin of that? Is it dump? Well, we have duck and duckling. Maybe, it is indeed dump, but since you don't want to make big dumps in your pot, you make them smaller, thus, instead of dump, you make dumpling.

Does that make sense?

(The UN Sphere, from my United Nations Series)


  1. Make sense to me! My mum is Italian and although I don't really speak the language anymore, I know my basic and it always bugs me when people say "a paparazzi"... yep, seen that many times, as well as the example you mentioned.

    Yet, English is still good at retaining foreign words' pronunciation and spelling. French butcher everything... ie. Pékin for Beijing ! :D

    Sorry I missed a few posts BTW, I worked on a new layout all WE... ;)

  2. Hahaha... this is such a funny post. :) E diba mga pinoy... if the plural of child is children, then the plural of chick is chicken. If the past tense of sink is sank, then the past tense of think is thank. :)