If you are a science enthusiast, u must have read the book “Surely you are joking Mr. Feynman”. If not, please read the following part of the book.
Latin or Italian?
There was an Italian radio station in Brooklyn, and as a boy I used to listen to it all the time. I LOVed the ROLLing SOUNds going over me, as if I was in the ocean, and the waves weren’t very high. I used to sit there and have the water come over me, in this BEAUtiful iTALian. In the Italian programs there was always some kind of family situation where there were discussions and arguments between the mother and father: High voice: “Nio teco TIEto capeto TUtto . . .” Loud, low voice: “DRO tone pala TUtto!!” (with hand slapping). It was great! So I learned to make all these emotions: I could cry; I could laugh; all this stuff. Italian is a lovely language.
There were a number of Italian people living near us in New York. Once while I was riding my bicycle, some Italian truck driver got upset at me, leaned out of his truck, and, gesturing, yelled something like, “Me aRRUcha LAMpe etta Tiche!” I felt like a crapper. What did he say to me? What should I yell back? So I asked an Italian friend of mine at school, and he said, “Just say, ‘A te! A te!’–which means ‘The same to you! The same to you!” I thought it was a great idea. I would say ‘A te! A te!” back–gesturing, of course. Then, as I gained confidence, I developed my abilities further. I would be riding my bicycle, and some lady would be driving in her car and get in the way, and I’d say, “PUzzia a la maLOche!”–and she’d shrink! Some terrible Italian boy had cursed a terrible curse at her! It was not so easy to recognize it as fake Italian.
Once, when I was at Princeton, as I was going into the parking lot at Palmer Laboratory on my bicycle, somebody got in the way. My habit was always the same: I gesture to the guy, “oREzze caB ONca MIche!”, slapping the back of one hand against the other. And way up on the other side of a long area of grass, there’s an Italian gardener putting in some plants. He stops, waves, and shouts happily, “REzza ma LIa!” I call back, “RONte BALta!”, returning the greeting. He didn’t know I didn’t know, and I didn’t know what he said, and he didn’t know what I said. But it was OK! It was great! It works! After all, when they hear the intonation, they recognize it immediately as Italian–maybe it’s Milano instead of Romano, what the hell. But he’s an iTALian! So it’s just great. But you have to have absolute confidence. Keep right on going, and nothing will happen.
One time I came home from college for a vacation, and my sister was sort of unhappy, almost crying: her Girl Scouts were having a fatherdaughter banquet, but our father was out on the road, selling uniforms. So I said I would take her, being the brother (I’m nine years older, so it wasn’t so crazy). When we got there, I sat among the fathers for a while, but soon became sick of them. All these fathers bring their daughters to this nice little banquet, and all they talked about was the stock market–they don’t know how to talk to their own children, much less their children’s friends. During the banquet the girls entertained us by doing little skits, reciting poetry, and so on. Then all of a sudden they bring out this funny-looking apron like thing, with a hole at the top to put your head through. The girls announce that the fathers are now going to entertain them. So each father has to get up and stick his head through and say something–one guy recites “Mary Had a Little Lamb”–and they don’t know what to do. I didn’t know what to do either, but by the time I got up there, I told them that I was going to recite a little poem, and I’m sorry that it’s not in English, but I’m sure they will appreciate it anyway: A TUZZO LANTO Poici di Pare TANto SAca TULna TI, na PUta TUchi PUti TI la. RUNto CAta CHANto CHANta MANto CHI la TI da. YALta CAra SULda MI la CHAta Picha Pino Tito BRALda pe te CHIna nana CHUNda lala CHINda lala CHUNda! RONto piti CA le, a TANto CHINto quinta LALda ola TiNta dalla LALta, YENta PUcha lalla TALta! I do this for three or four stanzas, going through all the emotions that I heard on Italian radio, and the kids are unraveled, rolling in the aisles, laughing with happiness. After the banquet was over, the scoutmaster and a schoolteacher came over and told me they had been discussing my poem. One of them thought it was Italian, and the other thought it was Latin. The schoolteacher asks, “Which one of us is right?”
This is a book which all should read from a teen to an old. I just read the whole book. Now I am going to buy the second part. I didn’t believe that Scientists also had a good sense of humor. Really, this is a great example of a scientist who has done it right.