Final Word from Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Miloš Zeman has added a new one-liner to his short list of ready-to-use witticisms. "An aggressor is anyone who attacks a country before the U.S. does," he told Parlamentní listy last week. The timing couldn't have been worse (or better, depending on your perspective). The Americans held their Independence Day reception in Prague yesterday, and Zeman's remark a few days earlier made his absence all that much more significant. Was he applying his own witticism by attacking the Americans first, suspecting that they didn't really want him to attend their event anyway? It wouldn't be the first time he had acted preemptively. In April he closed the Castle doors to Andrew Schapiro, just days before the U.S. ambassador wanted to rebuke him in person (according to Respekt). Zeman has now skipped the Fourth of July celebration three times in row. To borrow from Arlo Guthrie in Alice's Restaurant, three times makes it a movement. [Czech Republic United States of American 4th]

Glossary of difficult words

preemptive - serving or intended to prevent an event from happening by taking action ahead of time;

one-liner - a short joke or witty remark;

witticism - a witty remark;

to rebuke someone - to express sharp criticism or disapproval of someone because of his or her behavior or actions;

to skip (an event) - to fail to attend or deal with as appropriate.


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