I was buying a pile of books at Goodwill. One clerk rang me up, while another studied the book covers. She stopped on one and asked me, “What is this word?”
“Utopia? It means a perfect world.”
My definition didn’t move her, she looked at me expectantly.
“A perfect world, . . . like a perfect society.”
She waited a beat, then went back to the cover and ran her fingers over the last few letters of “Utopia”. She said, “I come from Ethiopia. It’s like this.”
“You mean Ethiopia is a perfect world?”
“Yes. Except for the first letters.”