Treading water

By now, even the most casual Web surfers have happened upon the photos of Venice under water, with determined tourists and residents ankle-, knee- or hip-deep in the Piazza San Marco. Although the news reports have often segued into discussions of global warming, most of us know the Venetians have had this problem for centuries.

For the last decade, a fairly short time given this long history, the Italian government has been working on a multibillion-dollar engineering solution dubbed MOSE that would close off the lagoon during periods of high water.

Its completion is at least another year away. That’s something to feel good about, but we’d feel a lot better if the phrase for which MOSE is an acronym didn’t translate as “Experimental Electromechanical Module.”

Italian is a lovely language, but is this the best they could do?
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