09 October 2006

Czech English Words No 1 - Tunnelling

I thought I would run a little series with more of a local feel.

Words can be powerful. This may surprise some people, but there are English words that are used in the Czech Republic, but very little elsewhere. The first in this series is the word tunnelling. Wiki-ed here. My understanding of it is the stripping out of company assets by company managers for personal gain. The word tunnelling refers to the situation where on the outside all appears fine, but when you dig deeper you realise that there is nothing there.

The term has encouraged an assumption of corruption when overseas investors look at company accounts in these markets and I think the crystallisation of this word says a lot about post-Soviet times. On the other hand the use of this word has served as an excellent shorthand in the fight against corporate malpractice.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Good term and one I shall use in future !

Ellee said...

I find word derivations really interesting - can we say keep "tunnelling" away in place of "digging" away?

Praguetory said...

Ellee - I suppose you could - if you wanted encourage a manager to continue to rip the innards out of the organisation where they work.

Anonymous said...

Yes,Yes! Czech language is a rich resource (we say "studnica", i.e. "well", for example "the well of the ideas") for the future one-world-language.

Did you know that a word "robot" is of Czech origin? It is derived from our word "robota" = "work" and it was invented by the well-known writer Karel Capek.

Praguetory said...

Hey Peter, you're stealing my thunder. I was going to do one of these a week 'til Christmas. Only joking - thanks for the robot titbit. PS - I owe you an e-mail.

Samuel Coates said...

Good to meet you at conference PT. Can you email at sam @ conservativehome . com please (delete this comment if you want!)

Average guy on the street said...

Hi, just published the results on my blog. Sorry for taking so long :)

UK Daily Pundit said...

Off topic but I thought you should know. Looking through his blog I noticed that you'd had a run in with this individual before.

Labour Blogger Gets Top Civil Service Job »

Praguetory said...

No problem with going off-topic particularly if you're pointing towards freaks who ought to be attacked at every turn. Your piece is a sterling critique of the jumped-up creeps who place each other in positions of seniority in UK plc. Off-hand I can't remember when or where I attacked him before, but I can guess why and I will join you in doing it again.

Anonymous said...

"PS - I owe you an e-mail."

I know. I was wondering whether I hadn't deterred you when I had been in such a hurry during our phone call.