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Tricky Words in today's OVI

Pridané: 25.02.2008
Kategória: 08/2008

Slovak "rezervy" and English "reserves". Yet again you can all be sure that a word from Latin that LOOKS similar in its Slovak and English forms MEANS quite different things in practice. The English idea of reserves is that there are amounts of useful things somewhere, just waiting to be used. That somewhere may be hidden or concealed, so the reserves might require some effort to be discovered or extracted, but we know that they are there.

Typical expressions are "oil reserves", like when people speculate about how long the world's oil reserves (they could say "deposits" or "stocks") will last, what with all these gas-guzzling SUV's trucking around the fown, or sportspeople have "reserves of energy" which they hold back, but then tap into at the right moment to enable them to spurt to the finish. The Slovak understanding of "rezervy", though, seems to be negative in some way. The useful things are there, but we're disappointed that they're not being used, so the focus is on the people "holding back", that they are wasting their talents. I prefer the word "potential".



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