In the midst of mental chaos, I managed to take 20 minutes for Italian reading yesterday. I am at a very tricky part of a book, in which the author imitates an encyclopaedia in describing the setting. The words, my tutor assured me when I asked, are old-fashioned and one of them he didn’t recognise the the context.
One of the most recent head scratchers was “martora”, which my dictionary told me was a witness or a martyr. The online dictionary I was consulting assured me the same. This seemed unlikely, since martore in the book are a threat to poultry. So I put the word into the Google search engine, no doubt adding to Google’s psychological profile of User 987558977 (or whoever I am), and Google suggested “martora animale.” I clicked on it, and here is what turned up:
I was delighted. Not only did I find the word at long last, I got to see photos of a cute poultry-killing beast. Meanwhile, I wouldn’t have known what a European pine marten was had it bitten my toe. The more I know, the more I know I don’t know (unlike, possibly, Google). However, the flash of discovery was a real joy.