The new contemptibles

Voting in Lidové noviny’s annual word of the year contest ends today, and it appears that the word “dezoláti” (contemptibles, deplorables) will win, unless “válka” (war) gets a final burst of support in the home stretch. Far behind are “drahota” (expensiveness, dearness) and “energie” (energy), although these two concepts used together seem to be the main thing on everyone’s minds. In business circles the word of the year is probably “windfall tax,” which needs no translation into English unless it’s referred to by one of its many other names, including “válečná daň” (war tax) or “mimořádná daň z neočekávaných zisků” (extraordinary tax on unexpected profits). For the chosen few subject to the extraordinary tax, the coming months will be all about how to avoid paying it, either by boosting profits and dividends this year, lowering profits next year, or finagling an exemption. The difficult part will be how to do this without joining the ranks in the public’s eyes of the “dezoláti.

FW221228

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