BOH - english

The most important words of any language are probably those that cannot be grammatically categorized. For example, three letters: “boh”! Small, untranslatable, it is a masterpiece of the Italian language. It usually stands for “I don’t know”. But when someone chooses to say “boh” instead of saying “I don’t know”, that person opens the door to a world of amused resignation, and perhaps to more or to less than that.
What do I think of the relation between the Italian language and the internet? Boh!
I think of all the times someone who is learning Italian has written “boh” in a search engine. I think of the Italian film director, Pasolini, who at the beginning of his masterpiece, “Uccellini e uccellacci”, asked “where is humanity going”? And the answer was: Boh! I think that the internet is basically like pasta: it is served in every possible way and gets easily digested.
And then I realize that I'm jumping from one topic to another in an inconsequent way, “di palo in frasca” as we say in Italian. I imagine a search engine programmed with an algorithm based on the ability to use the associative imagination of someone who speaks and thinks in Italian. An algorithm that follows an illogical line of thought, a bit like dreams do, typical of many conversations in Italian.
But maybe it's for the best not to have this sort of engine. Who knows what someone would find while looking for the recipe of the Ticino bread cake ... Boh…

(Elisa Storelli, 2018)