Tricky Words in this week's OVI
To observe. The usual meaning of this verb is to watch something carefully for a considerable time, something which may move or remain still, most likely for the purposes of scientific research. It
might be a pair of wild birds nesting somewhere, or people's behavior in stressful conditions. Patients stay in hospital for some time after an operation so that the doctors can keep them under
observation. A building with a big telescope installed inside a dome is an astronomical observatory.
On the other hand, to "observe" also means to say something about a situation, to express an opinion or some kind of original statement. This is probably because a lot of people cannot resist
telling others what they have seen, and then what they think about it as well. This use of "observe" is quite formal, like "poznamenať", and the opinion expressed is probably not critical. More
critical opinions are "commented", and "štipľavé názory" are "remarked".
Last issue I said I would explain more about "shipping" in the sense of "expedícia". Remember that English "expedition" means "výprava (do neznámej krajiny)", and the usual word for sending
finished products to customers, "dispatching", could be confused with "dispečing", so it's better to use "shipping", even when the products are sent out by road or rail.
I imagine it developed like this: Great Britain is an island, so any products intended for export would sooner or later have to be put on a ship. There is no place in England, Wales or Scotland
(i.e. Great Britain) that is further than 120 km from the sea, so the road or rail transfer to the nearest port was not considered significant - export goods had to be "shipped" in any case. My
Oxford dictionary dates the expression "shipping" goods by rail to 1881 - is that when the West was won and the Pacific ports started working?