Campanilismo — a word expressing allegiance, attachment, and pride in your town. Roughly it translates into love for your bell tower.
I learned this yesterday while sitting in on an Italian 1 class and the instructor, Luca (I love that name), asked if Americans have a similar word. Someone said patriotism (but that is for country); we tried to explain that the concept is there to a certain extent in regions (Texans are proud of that fact; Southerners and Northerners go out of their way to differentiate from each other; there is a west coast, east coast sensibility; etc.) but we lack a word that expresses that. Unless you can think of one?
The discussion re-awakened my belief in the limits of language. Last summer, I was struck by the lacking specificity of the word “love”. We use the same word for loving cats, friends, family, lovers, husbands, wives. Just love. The same is true of the word lonely. You can be lonely in a crowd, lonely alone, and the worst kind of lonely—lonely in love.
It is exquisite frustration so much meaning depends on context. Writing rewards when it overcomes the maddening ambiguities. I’ll keep trying to get it right here; my first public viewing of my words. It may not always be creative, or reasonable, but I’ll keep trying. And I love everyone’s feedback — public or not.