Final Word from Tuesday, May 28, 2013

In a blog entry yesterday that used the word "kmotr" (godfather) 22 times, ex-Prague Mayor Pavel Bém said that the word should be banned in political contexts. It's an amusing idea, but the main purpose of Bém's blog was apparently to dispel the growing belief that two Prague godfathers, Ivo Rittig and Tomáš Hrdlička, were behind the collapse of the ODS-TOP 09 coalition in Prague. (See our piece on the Hrdlička bribe chart.) Of course, use of "godfather" will only disappear when the godfathers themselves do. In the meantime, we prefer the term "mini-godfather" for the Rittigs and Hrdličkas of the world, so that "godfather" can be reserved for the Five Families that already control about 25% of the Czech economy. The terminology will be confused even more later this year when Petr Nikolaev's film "Story of the Godfather" comes out. Its very title suggests that there was only ever one real godfather, the late great František Mrázek. But to quote another gangster film, if Mrázek was so effing smart, how come he's so effing dead?[Czech Republic oligarchs Příběh Kmotra Jaroslav Kmenta Prizzi's Honor]

Glossary of difficult words

to dispel - to make (a doubt, feeling or belief) disappear;

late great (late, great) - an homage to a great person who has died;

another gangster film - Prizzi's Honor;

effing - a euphemistic substitute for the word "fucking".

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