I signed up for Word of the Day at SpanishDict.com. I figured I could supplement my Rosetta Stone efforts and expand my vocabulary incrementally, doing something I do every day: read my email. Little did I know that somewhere, embedded in the terms of agreement, I gave permission for the company to explore my subconscious and harness my brain so that they could customize my daily email to my own learning proclivities.
How else do you explain what happened?
The first word I received was quien: who, whom. Ha! I knew this one from Bill Murray's skit on Saturday Night Live from years ago:
¿Quién es más macho? Fernando Lamas or Ricardo Montalban?
[NOTE BENE: Of course, Ricardo Montalban (he of Corinthian leather fame and Kirk's ultimate nemesis, Khan) won every comparison (Lamas, Lloyd Bridges), until he fell to Desi Arnez.]
My confidence in learning Spanish strengthened on that entry. The next day, I hit a snag:
tratar: to treat, to have contact with, to process
Not only was I unfamiliar with it, but it required conjugation to use properly. I practiced a bit, and thought I had it.
SpanishDict didn't think so. The next day, bright and early I received my word for the day.
I glanced at it and thought it looked familiar. And worked on it some more.
Apparently, it wasn't enough. The following day when I checked my email, tratar had arrived again, a third time, for good measure.
Finally, on day five I got a new word: el fin
I think the joke is on me.