Final Word from Thursday, November 4, 2004





Czechs made a small contribution to the English language in the mid-1990s with "tunneling," a euphemism for asset stripping or outright theft. The rise of Stanislav Gross to the top of party politics has brought a new Czech-specific neologism to the English vocabulary. Gross is increasingly referred to as a "technologist of power," a term that leaves most English speakers dumbfounded. It's someone who knows how to manipulate, to secure his power base and to create an image but who is void of ideological conviction or political vision. The latest spotting was in the FT this week, when analyst Jiří Pehe called Gross a technologist of power who lacks qualities. Gross launched the last phase of ČSSD's election campaign yesterday by warning voters against "tunneling" of hospitals by ODS. In this weekend's elections, it's the "techies" vs. the "tunnelers." May the least-bad man win. Financial Times

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