Tricky Words in this week‘s OVI
Factoring. Imagine you run a company supplying goods or services to another, much larger company which reserves to itself the right to delay payment of your invoices for two months. You might need the money sooner than that to keep your company going, so you turn to a commercial factor for help. A factor is literally “somebody who makes things happen”, and in this case it's another company which has enough money to buy your invoice (your account receivable), so you get your money soon enough to maintain your cash flow, but at a discount, for example 10% of the invoice value, which is the factoring charge. The factor then waits 90 days and collects full payment from the large company. A similar service involving export sales on a contractual basis is called forfaiting.
In the last issue of OVI I wrote about the difference between “avoid” and “prevent”, which I think is the same as between „vyhýbať“ and „zabrániť“, and I suggested that English native speakers are losing the sense for this difference, especially saying “avoid” when they mean “prevent”. No sooner was that issue published than I had my suspicions confirmed (I think) on Sky News, which presented a report entitled “Feed your baby peanut butter to avoid future allergies”. I think that should be “prevent future allergies”, because small amounts of peanut butter could build up the child's resistance to potential allergens in nuts, stopping them being allergic to nuts in the future. Or have we reached the stage where allergies are considered inevitable (inescapable), and all we can do is try to avoid them?