Final Word from Thursday, April 23, 2009

In its song "5 Million Ways to Kill a C.E.O.," the rap group The Coup makes vicious fun of the greed of the top executive of companies. "Toss a dollar in the river," it raps, "and when he jump in, if you can find he can swim, put lead boots on him and do it again." Czechs prefer defenestration and are in the process of tossing a few CEOs out their eurowindows. What really riles Czechs are high salaries that are kept secret from the public. Blesk tabloid is leading the charge against CEO Petr Žaluda of Czech Railways, who revealed his salary but conveniently forgot to mention a big chunk of it. The tabloid hasn't fully caught up with CEO Martin Roman of ČEZ yet. He has said in public than he earns €1m per year, but he led reporters this week to believe that his salary is less than a fourth of this. The Coup has a solution. "We could let him try to change a flat tire. Or we could all at once retire."[Czech Republic rapper chief executive officer]

Glossary of difficult words

CEO - chief executive officer;

vicious - deliberately cruel or violent;

"when he jump in" - in non-standard English, subject-verb agreement is often violated;

lead boots - lead or concrete boots for making bodies disappear below water are associated with the mafia;

defenestration - the act of throwing someone or something out the window;

eurowindow - (eurookno) a popular wooden window that conforms to EU norms;

to rile someone - (informal) to annoy or irritate someone;

chunk - an amount or part of something;

"all at once retire" - this means that all the workers would stop working, leaving the CEO with nothing to do and no money to earn.


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