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There are certain universals in this world.

If you speak English, and have ever lived in a city (or maybe even not), I bet that you know that this dustfitti means “wash me.” It’s also a worthwhile short lesson in Spanish grammar.

For one, in order to make the command–that is, the single informal 2nd person command–you hack off the -ar on the -ar verb (in this case, lavar, which means to wash), and then you slap on the -a.

Then there’s the stuck on me at the end. Me means, well, me. Which maybe is confusing because mi (which means my) is actually pronounced like “me” (in English), whereas me, which means me, is pronounced, roughly, “may.”

Begin goofy tangent….

Which reminds me (as does everything lately) of my Hebrew-teaching summer camp where we learned this little ditty as we were writing our names in Hebrew out of cookie dough, which in my case is super boring, because the only good letter I have in my name transliterated into Hebrew is the lamed, which looks like a sloppy f where you start from the top and then loop up from the bottom to cross it (and then don’t really cross it), oh, here, I’ll just show you.

The nun (last letter in my name) would also be fun, except that the nun sofit, which is how you write the letter nun (makes the n sound, and is not pronounced like the English nun) at the end of a word, is just a straight line.

Anyway, the little rhyme went like this:

Ani is me
me is who
who is he
dag is fish
and ma is what

After we learned that, we got to eat our cookies.

… end goofy tangent

But back to the -me ending in Spanish. It means me (or to me) in Spanish, and it often goes before the verb, as in “no me importa” (it doesn’t matter to me), or me gusta (it is agreeable to me). But in this case, at the end of a command (or infinitive), it just fits onto the end of the word, even if that word is written in dust on a (very) dirty rear windshield.

But if we’re talking about things to write in, doesn’t cookie dough sound much more appealing than dust? Alas, a lesson for another day. Soon it will rain and nobody will have to wash anything, except the backs of our pantslegs where we kick up all the mugre (grime) that has been accumulating all summer since the last time it rained. Enjoy your springing ahead, you US-dwellers. They say fall might finally come sometime. I will bake cookies when it does.

Lamed image courtesy of Wikipedia.