Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Pope Swears, Press Goes Wild

¿Como se dice "Oops"?
The Pope seems to have dropped the Italian equivalent of the F-bomb during an address the other day. The Italian word—which is means the male anatomy, but is used like the F-word in English—probably came out of the Pope's mouth accidentally. This one fellow believes that the debacle represents deeper personal shortcomings in Francis' outlook, his propriety, and his proneness to scandal. However, the same blogger concedes the possibility of a similar Spanish word to cazzo, and I am here to tell the world that there is one! Caso.

The Pope said In questo cazzo instead of In questo caso. The Pope's Italian is functional (more than can be said for his Latin). He is a native Spanish speaker from Argentina, a country with a vibrant Latino culture and an awful linguistic tradition. Argentinian Spanish tends to pronounce words more sloppily than Iberian (or any other kind) of Spanish. The letter s is pronounced swiftly, almost as a hiss, in most Spanish speaking places (unless you speak with a Castillian accent, I used to). Argentinians will pronounce the letter more loosely. In Spanish the Pope would have said En este caso and, even if he mispronounced the s no one would have cared because the word would be received normally. In Italian, which until a year ago he used far less, he is a little buzz away from vulgarity.

May the Lord grant the Pope care over his tongue!


  1. I know this is a somewhat old post but there is something that the press hasn't picked up at all. More importantly than the minor error in the Angelus address, the Pope made a fairly major error in the Angelus itself. He forgot the "Et Verbum caro factum est" instead saying the Ora pro nobis Sancta Dei Genitrix, after which he said an Ave, then repeated it a second time, a somewhat larger mistake if you ask me... But all of his Latin that I've heard does seem fluent, but that may be just be because I've only heard him say the Angelus which he says every week...

    1. Having watched him celebrate Mass a few times I think his Latin is quite bad. He can do most of the unchanging greetings well enough (Dominus vobiscum.... Sursum corda.....), but that is about it.