A reasonable point of view
Michael Dembinski – a reasonable man
I cannot resist a challenge and Michael Dembinski sets three delicious ones in his latest post on W-wa Jeziorki. What is the Polish for ‚guidelines’, ‚reasonable’ and ‚discretion’?
The first one is easy. It is ‚wskazówki’. Wskazówki can be physical like the hands on the watch, but they can also be abstract, in which case – depending on context – we are talking about hints, tips or guidelines.
One-love to me and two more words to go. ‚Reasonable’ as in ‚reasonable wear and tear’. Crikey, not so easy. Google translates the latter as ‚racjonalne zużycie’. Ho, ho, ho! ‚Zużycia na skutek normalnego użytkowania’ is as close as I can get to ‚reasonable wear and tear’, but I only got there by by-passing ‚reasonable’ altogether.
One-all. ‚Discretion’. OMG, that’s cheating Michael! You know on the basis of hundreds of dealings with railway ticket inspectors, local government officials and shop assistants that after 6 years of foreign occupation and 44 years of communist rule there is no discretion left in Poland and words like ’empowerment’ fall on stony ground. Game set and match to Dembinski.
A final word from Michael, The law of the land is couched in the language of the land. If that language does not convey trust, how can the law? I will be taking another look at the question of language, trust and betrayal in my next post.
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