Occasional reflections on Life, the World, and Mathematics


According to Reuters the German Bundestag member Volker Kaude described the new proposals for the Greek financial crisis from European Commission president Juncker as “irritating”. It’s an odd word choice. It would be quite exceptionally blunt if he had said it. Of course, he didn’t.

Turning to German-language media we see that what he actually said was that he was “einigermaßen überrascht über die irritierenden Aussagen aus Brüssel”. “Fairly surprised by the odd comments from Brussels.” “Irritierend” looks like “irritating”, but its primary meaning — and clearly the one intended here — is something more like “puzzling”. It’s diplomatic for having a range of meanings from neutral to negative. I don’t get it, and I don’t think it’s entirely my fault.

Reuters might need to invest in something more sophisticated than Google for its translations.

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