Saturday, October 2, 2010

Buon compleanno, Peanuts!

Today is the 60th birthday of the Peanuts crowd, headed by the renowned Charlie Brown, and populated by his friends, frenemies and the immortal Snoopy. The comic strip by Charles Schulz made its first appearance in seven newspapers on October 2, 1950.

In Italy it is also popular, and goes by the name of Linus (pronounced "Lee-noos"), the character with the blanket who often sucks his thumb. I could say some snarky things about why Italians would identify most with the little kid who needs his blankie and thumb. But I won't.

Observe, at any rate, how our little kids use the subjunctive in Italian (Lee-noos included.) Here's what they say in the above strip:

Charlie Brown: I'm sorry you have to wear glasses, Linus.

Linus: Don't feel sorry for me, Charlie Brown. Just think that now I can see things that I never even knew existed before!

Linus: Take Lucy, for example. For the first time I realize what a marvelous creature she actually is.

Lucy: The glasses didn't just improve his sight... They improved his sarcasm.