Tricky Words in this week's OVI
There is a good example this week of the unstoppable development of new meanings for old words in English. There is no Jazykový ústav Williama Shakespeara keeping
control over correct usage of the English language, and certain areas of activity are particularly productive of new uses for words. When the people involved in a specific area of activity develop
meanings for words which they understand among themselves, the result is called jargon, and one such area of activity is corporate business.
Diversity in the natural world is the original "rozmanitosť" or "rôznorodosť" of species that have developed in different ways in line with the principles of
evolution. Diversity in corporate business means the management policy of regulating the company's workforce profile to keep a balance in terms of the origins of employees, mainly their gender,
educational or ethnic backgrounds, to maintain equality of opportunity.
This week's question is about another meaning of the word "business", not "podnikanie" but "záležitosť" or "vec", in the expressions "Mind your own business", "That's
my business" or "That's none of your business". The specific question is whether English speakers prefer to use the positive versions of these expressions, and whether Slovaks tend to use negative
ones, like "Nevmiešavaj sa...", "Nepleť sa..." or "To nie je tvoja vec". I don't know if there is really a cultural difference here. The negative forms are real negatives in both the English and
the Slovak expressions, so it's probably a question of emphasis for individual speakers, because negative forms tend to be said with more force than positive ones.
Please send questions about English language habits to firstname.lastname@example.org, and I will choose one to answer each week. AB