The personal learning network for educators
This week, the whole Italy is discussing the word «petalos», which came up with a third-grader Matteo. It translates as "the one, which has many petals". Neologism became known because of the teacher Matteo, who persuaded him to write a letter to the Academy of linguistic of Kruska, and then published on her facebook page the answer scientists have given. Matteo, and his teacher have become famous all over the country, and the word is already used in tens of brands advertising.
February 23, 2016 Margherita Aurora, an elementary school teacher from the school in Copparo (Emilia-Romagna region) published in her Facebook post: "A few weeks ago, while studying adjectives, one of my students wrote about the flower that it - petaloso. This word is even non-existent, I liked it, and I offered to send it to the Academy Kruska for evaluation. Today we have received the answer, clear and comprehensive. It is like a thousand Italian lessons for me. Thanks to my little inventor Matteo".
The boy has told later, the teacher gave the class assignment to write two adjectives to nouns. By the word "flower" Matteo decided to write words profumato (fragrant) and petaloso ( «because a lot of flower petals"). The teacher underlined in red the word petaloso, added: "A beautiful mistake."
"The word seemed convincing, so I decided to ask what people think about it in the [Academy] Kruska," - said Margherita Aurora to Corriere della Sera. - I explained to the students what the institution it is... and asked Matteo to write them a letter. He gave me to fix a few bugs and asked a classmate to rewrite because of his beautiful handwriting."
Kruska Academy (Accademia della Crusca) - Florence Institute, founded in the XVI century, one of the most prestigious institutions in the field of linguistics and philology of the Italian language. In a letter to a scientist Matteo explained that his teacher and friends liked the invented word, and asked whether it was possible to include it in the dictionary. Three weeks later the answer came from the academy (published on the Institute's website).
An employee of the Institute, Maria Cristina Torquay, specializing in sociolinguistics, wrote that word petaloso drawn correctly - by analogy with other words with affix -oso, which indicates the presence of a large number of the features. In the same way, she said, formed by words peloso ( «hairy», from pelo - «Hair»), coraggioso ( «brave», by coraggio - «courage»).
At the same time, wrote Torquay, "words do not appear within the dictionary, where someone had come up with, even if they are interesting and useful", "It is necessary that many people have used the word and understood it's meaning to include the word in the dictionary." Torquay reassured the boy, suggesting that if everyone will use this word and say that the compilers include it in the dictionary.
In an interview with La Repubblica Torquay she said that she was touched by the seriousness with which Matteo substantiated claims the incorporation of his words in the dictionary of the Italian language, so she decided to write him a detailed answer. "It seemed important to write the answer, to help them understand how the language "works", why the words is or is not in the dictionary. I did not just say to him: "No, the Academy has no authority to include the word in the dictionary."
Many viewed appreciative response of Academy Kruska as an actual agreement to include petaloso in Dictionary. In the Internet there were jokes about other adjectives, allegedly approved by the academy. In tune with the way the name of the former Minister of Civil Defence Guido Bertolaso suggested to be an adjective meaning "a thing made by God knows how," and the name of the Prime Minister Renzi immediately turned into an adjective renzoso with a set of values from "things done superficially without any logic" to "a person who is lying."