Tricky Words in this week's OVI:
Slovak or Slovakian? This might look like a useless difference to many people, and most English versions of tourist brochures use "Slovak" throughout without causing any misunderstandings, so I'm
not presenting this as a rule that mustn't be broken, just as a distinction (difference in form) which exists, so it might be interesting, or a nuance in meaning which might be useful.
My approach is based on the idea that "Slovak" refers to the people, the language and cultural things, while "Slovakian" refers geographically to the country or parts of it, and the things that
belong there. It was my habit to translate VSŽ as the East Slovakian Steelworks, because it was set up in Eastern Slovakia, and I've used "Slovakian" in translating Zväzu slovenských
vedecko-technických spoločností to indicate that these are societies which exist in Slovakia, and to avoid suggesting that there is some special Slovak kind of science and technology.
Did you watch the concert in London on Monday evening for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee? Talk about nostalgia! I'm not a blue-blooded royalist, and I think the media attention on the British royal
family (and in other countries) is disgusting sometimes, but then again I think something important would be lost if royalty was abolished. A lot of money from tourists for a start. I'm also sure
the United Kingdom would soon become a Disunited Republic.
Maybe somebody at the top who is above and separate from politics, but who can still influence developments, has a stabilizing effect. It's interesting that the "Arab Spring" revolts in Tunisia and
Egypt led to bloodshed, and practically to civil war in Libya and Syria, but in Jordan and Morocco there have been changes without fighting, possibly because their kings were able to react quickly
enough. Just a thought.