3040. This was truly a fortuitous phrase for the instruction of reading and writing to break down on, because it summed up the very thing the Jailer and Faldoni were doing. The Jailer had no use for any supposed actual meaning of any of the words in the text, he was simply enjoying himself with a word game to pass the time while they waited for Easter to come.
But Faldoni grew troubled by the multiplicity of meanings the words
seemed to have, and began to complain about the difficulty of
remembering so many different definitions. The Jailer only made things
worse by offering this explanation.
“You have to understand that words change their meanings all the time,
and hardly ever stay the same from one minute till the next. If it is a
beautiful day, and I say it’s a beautiful day, then those words mean
what you think they always mean. But if I say it is a beautiful day and
it is storming out, then the same words mean the opposite of what they
3043. And then you have to consider that many words have more than one meaning to begin with. Also people are always making up new words, and giving new definitions to old words. Then too, as time goes by, all words change very slowly, so this job of learning to read and write can take a person a lot longer than thirty or forty days.