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November 2018
30.12.2018, 20:04

27.11.18 The time and space continuum seemed to have been broken, thus bringing two of the most formidable British queens together in the same, rather unexpected place. For instead of London, I was in a small Northern Italian town called Schio (pronounced 'ski-o').

This was British Day Schio – a weekend extravaganza dedicated to Great Britain during which the citizens of Schio declare themselves British. They dress up as British characters from past and modern times and even publish a newspaper (the headline of which this year proudly stated: La Citta' Piu' Britannica d'Italia!, ‘The Most British City in Italy!’).


23.11.18 "To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield" - here comes a famous poem by Lord Tennyson quoted by a corrupt politician who sent the ironic backlash against himself:

Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich's (mis)reading of Tennyson is awash in dramatic irony.



"Widely believed to harbor corrupt ambitions, impeached, and accused of soliciting bribes, the governor of Illinois has defended himself by quoting a poem that amounts to a resignation from executive office." Stephen Burt finds irony in Rod Blagojevich's reading of Tennyson.


"To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield" has become famous in the Soviet Union through  a great novel by Veniamin Kaverin “Two captains” translated into many languages.  

There is an interplay of this famous quotation with the great Soviet song

Мы все добудем, поймем и откроем:
Холодный полюс и свод голубой.
Когда страна быть прикажет героем,
У нас героем становится любой.

21.11.18 Every November, around 600,000 Korean students sit the CSAT (the College Scholastic Ability Test, a gruelling, eight-hour set of university entrance exams.). The test is a college entrance examination so important it grinds the country to a halt – even stopping air traffic.


The Soviet system of entrance exams was less expensive and more effective, because it reflected in a more differentiated form the intersts of the Faculties. Nepotism and cronyism should have been dealt with more effectively, one can't help admitting. But the entrance exams were BETTER, than all these CSATs!

17.11.18 It’s funny when the English language speakers make schoolboy’s mistakes: 1) star down and stare down are different verbs; 2) entreated him not meddle - WRONG! entreated him not TO meddle - CORRECT:

"Vice president starred down Vladimir Putin at a summit in Singapore, where the U.S. says he entreated him not meddle in American elections"


Don't make people laugh: nobody is capable of staring down (not "starring down"!) Vladimir Putin.

13.11.18 There are at least two reasons for ambivalence in the sentence below: the use of the modal verb “might” that makes the allegation highly unlikely and the use of the verb “includes” that suggests the presence in the delegation of politically uncommitted observers:

"As with the last elections, held here in November 2014, there will be a team of international observers to watch over the vote. Objectivity might be a challenge, however. The delegation includes a “representative from Yemen,” who is actually a medical student from Russia; a Chilean who also fought in one of the separatists’ armies; and a citizen of Finland, who for the last few years has headed one of the separatists’ own news agencies".


11.11.18 Britains Collins dictionary has chosen 'single-use' as it's 2018 word of the year, it marks a risining awareness of the pollution problem in the world's oceans.

The EU is working on a ban on certain throwaway plastics - currently under discussion with member states a ban on items like straws could come into effect by 2021.


What a shame for the BBC to mix up its and it's. Utterly disgusting!!!

7.11.18 Today’s Russian elite has its equivalent of the noblesse d’épée and the noblesse de robe, or strongmen and bureaucrats.


The allegation may be accurate, but its French borrowings make it ambivalent:

1. Why does the author bring Russia into the cognitive space of France?

2. Does it mean that while France got rid of its medieval inequality, Russia is still entrenched in it?

3. Borrowings are usually brought into play as cultural and institutional terms. But “strongmen and bureaucrats” seem to be a more direct way of expressing the idea that against the backdrop of learned words gets misleading connotations.

4. Historical parallels may demonstrate wit and intellect, but in this case are nothing but ad hominem argument and cowardly device to hide poorly masked intentions that are a long way off history.

3.11.18 English dominates all over the globe, as everyone knows. Less people know that there is a spread of the variant of English with numerous distortions:that may be the cause of misunderstanding with native English speakers ('he walk' etc.)


1.11.18 Russisch ist die Muttersprache von 40 Prozent der Menschen, die in der Ukraine leben.


That’s wrong: Gallop Poll claims that 83% citizens of the Ukraine use Russian as their mother tongue.


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