Tricky Words in this week's OVI
Nominee. The ending - ee is really a bit of French grammar that has been preserved in some English words for people, usually meaning that someone else has done something to them (the normal English
grammatical ending is -ed). This is where "nominee" comes in. Person A proposes the name (Latin: nomen) of person B for a prize or a job, and then person B is the nominee, or "nominovaný" in Slovak
(but not "menovaný", trickily).
If company C gives a job to person D, then s/he becomes an employee (zamestnaná/ý). There's a similar idea in "interviewee", "trainee", "fiancee" (zasnúbená), "divorcee" (rozvedená), "trustee"
(poverený/á) and "referee" (rozhodca - the person the players refer to - odvolajú sa - for decisions on foul play). Sometimes though the -ee ending is active, meaning someone who has done something
themselves. An escapee is someone who has escaped, refugees have fled (utekali) from their homeland, absentees stay away too often from school or work, and attendees sit in meetings.
Some readers may remember the USSK Public Affairs 2007 calendar with truly excellent, original pictures created by Jana Šlosárová to illustrate a selection of Slovak proverbs (príslovia), sayings
(porekadlá) and folk lore (pranostiky), which I attempted to translate. There were some general proverbs, which also have their own English equivalents - Vrana k vrane sadá... is Birds of a feather
flock together. No problem.
But the folk lore connected with name-days makes little sense in English - I mean: "Jozef mosty stavia" - Joseph builds bridges?? St.Joseph's Day was on Monday last week, and March 19 is near the
end of winter, when the weather is extremely changeable, and river ice cracks up by day and refreezes overnight, making new "bridges" for daring people to cross over. I like this bit of
topical-looking folk lore too: Marec, ešte bude harec.