Final Word from Wednesday, December 28, 2022

Voting in Lidové noviny's annual word of the year contest ends today, and it appears that the word "dezoláti" (contemptibles, deplorables) will win, unless "válka" (war) gets a final burst of support in the home stretch. Far behind are "drahota" (expensiveness, dearness) and "energie" (energy), although these two concepts used together seem to be the main thing on everyone's minds. In business circles the word of the year is probably "windfall tax," which needs no translation into English unless it's referred to by one of its many other names, including "válečná daň" (war tax) or "mimořádná daň z neočekávaných zisků" (extraordinary tax on unexpected profits). For the chosen few subject to the extraordinary tax, the coming months will be all about how to avoid paying it, either by boosting profits and dividends this year, lowering profits next year, or finagling an exemption. The difficult part will be how to do this without joining the ranks in the public's eyes of the "dezoláti." [ Czech Republic arrange exception ]

Glossary of difficult words

new contemptibles - the Old Contemptibles is a popular name given to the British army of regulars and special reserve which made up the expeditionary force sent to France in the autumn of 1914, in ironical allusion to the German Emperor's alleged exhortation to his soldiers to ‘walk over General French's contemptible little army’;

contemptible - deserving scorn or disdain;

deplorable - deserving strong condemnation; completely unacceptable;

burst - a sudden brief outbreak;

home/final stretch - the last part of an activity or campaign; the straight final stretch of a racecourse;

to finagle - to obtain by dishonest or devious means;

to join the ranks of - to become a part or member of a large group or organization.

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