May 13, 2004 by AK
I haven’t blogged for a week and a half, and that’s a century by our Bloguesque standards. There was a major terrorist act on the most important national holiday, May 9, but papers covered it from all sides. I don’t think I can add much value to that. Trivia and miscellanea shall be my fields today.
Accuracy in reporting. The most watched Russian TV channel, ORT (which also happens to be controlled by the federal government), reported that former Russian nuclear energy ‘czar’ Adamov had a US Social Security Number which, according to ORT, is only assigned with persons with a residence permit. The statement in the subordinate clause is wrong, of course: foreign students and workers have to get SSNs, too. The fact that Adamov has a SS card is not in any way indicative of his having a green card (and sitting on his bags ready to move to Las Vegas); a more plausible reason would be a US university or research center inviting him for a few months. Even if you will never be eligible for SS benefits, Washington needs your SS contributions.
English loans. The German finance people I know keep using English terms when discussing financial matters in German: you keep hearing ‘cash flow’, ‘equity’, ‘project finance’, ‘security’, and so on. I called a friend in Germany two weeks ago and was forwarded to an answering system; a pleasant female voice explained the options to me, ‘blah blah blah mailbox blah blah blah’. From what I hear and read, German is a sucker for English loans, in contrast to French. Russian is in-between the two: I may talk to a colleague or friend in heavily Anglicized Russian (Nado eti versii rekonsil’nUt’… U bondOv kogda machUriti? Voz’mut da defoltnUt po lOunam), but this kind of language is only OK in rather informal confab.
Tony Blair à la Russe. A popular Russian TV commentator invariably calles PM Blair Bleyer. This moniker is derived from Russian bleyat’, to bleat, and -er, an English/Latin/Yiddish suffix, to ostensibly mean ‘bleater’. That’s not fair: Blair is a good orator; at the very least, he is an orator, unlike most world leaders.
More garbage later.
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