conversazione was our Word of the Day on 12/15/2011. Hear the podcast!
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Did You Know?
Writer Horace Walpole is credited with the first English use of conversazione in a 1739 letter in which he writes, "After the play we were introduced to the assembly, which they call the conversazione." As this Italian borrowing was used through the years, it gained nuances of meaning. In Italy, it generally referred to a gathering for conversation, but in England it began to be used more for a private meeting. By the 19th century, conversazione also referred to assemblies and soirees of people connected with the arts or sciences. The word has two plural forms in English: conversaziones and conversazioni.
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