Final Word from Monday, March 10, 2014

Czechs don't have patronymics, but some clever individuals have been referring to their president as Miloš Milošević Zeman, in allusion to his position on the bombing of Kosovo. Zeman said on Fri. that it would be hypocritical to claim that the independence of Kosovo is in order but that the independence of the Crimea is not. Zeman grew up without a father, and his father's name isn't mentioned anywhere, so duplicating the alliteration of Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin to produce a patronymic seems appropriate in the circumstances. Zeman started out with a clear EU-friendly stance on the events in Ukraine but is progressively Russifying his approach. His Kosovo comparison even won him a mention on Russia's main evening news program on Friday. It now seems that Zeman's early statements about Ukraine were the equivalent of hoisting the EU flag at the Castle; they briefly made us forget his true disposition. [Czech Republic Yugoslavia Serbia European Union Russia]

Glossary of difficult words

patronymic - a name derived from the name of the father or other ancestor, typically by the addition of a prefix or suffix, e.g. Johnson, O'Brien or Ivanovich;

alliteration - the occurrence of the same letter or sound at the beginning of adjacent or closely connected words;

to Russify - to make Russian in character;

to hoist - to raise by means of ropes and pulleys;

disposition - a person's inherent qualities of mind and character.

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