My Pine Nut Friend

Pesto is made from pine nuts, basil, garlic, and olive oil, basically. I also throw pine nuts on my pizza and into salads. But I never thought I’d have a pine nut for a friend.

His name is Adriano, and he’s Italian, so really he’s a pignolo, not an American pine nut. And actually, he’s not really a pine nut. He’s a Casanova scholar (among other things) who wrote the excellent and detailed entry on Giacomo Casanova on Wikipedia (in Italian). (Teacher note: I’m a teacher and often find myself warning students not to rely on Wikipedia for their research, but in this case I can vouch for the Casanova entry!)

So why do I call Adriano a pignolo? It’s the Italian slang term for a stickler–you know, of the Lynne Truss Eats, Shoots & Leaves variety. (If you don’t get the reference, that’s the title of  a book where Truss recounts her horror at the grammatical misadventures that are inflicted upon her grammarian stickler self.) Adriano taught me this term pignolo one day when I had made an error in my research, and he had caught it for me. This is the guy you want around when you need an editor! And a fact checker! And some pesto! (He is, after all, Italian.)

He also taught me the British term pernickety, whereas in America we say persnickety, which I taught him. But “pignolo” is a true gem, as is Adriano. Maybe some day we’ll actually meet face to face instead of in cyberland.


About seductivevenice

Teacher, writer, traveler, dancer, reader, photographer, gardener.
This entry was posted in Casanova, Venice and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to My Pine Nut Friend

  1. Nancy Schwalen says:

    We all need out persnickety friends to call us on our errors. Hope you get ot meet him someday.

  2. Bert says:

    I am the UK’s equivalent to Adriano. So I “Hope you get ot meet him someday” oot. 🙂

  3. Bert says:

    I could be yout persnickety friend! 🙂 [I missed that the first time – I must be slipping.]
    Typos are excusable – I make them all the time. Nobody’s prefect! 🙂

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