SLOVAK WORD OF THE WEEK

Nova

YOU REALLY have to feel sorry for the ‘ä’. It sounds exactly like the ‘e’. There are only a few countries where you will find it on a keyboard. And even in Slovak, it’s only used in a handful of words such as päta (heel), púpä (flower bud), holúbä (small pigeon), svätý (holy) or hovädo (derived from ‘cattle’, but meaning an arrogant idiot). And now it has lost its best chance of prominence in a long time.

YOU REALLY have to feel sorry for the ‘ä’. It sounds exactly like the ‘e’. There are only a few countries where you will find it on a keyboard. And even in Slovak, it’s only used in a handful of words such as päta (heel), púpä (flower bud), holúbä (small pigeon), svätý (holy) or hovädo (derived from ‘cattle’, but meaning an arrogant idiot). And now it has lost its best chance of prominence in a long time.

When former interior minister and ex-Christian Democrat Daniel Lipšic decided to call his new party Nová väčšina (New Majority), and use the first two letters of each word as an acronym (as the colours in the logo suggest), fame seemed certain.

But in a shocking turn of events, the result is ‘Nova’. Where did that ‘a’ come from? Its sudden appearance probably has something to do with Lipšic’s two traits. One is his admiration for all things American. As justice minister he introduced the three strikes and out rule for repeat offenders. He now wants judges and prosecutors to be elected by the public, something not common in Europe. All of these are legitimate ideas. But does the ‘ä’ really have to go as well?

The other reason why we have Nova instead of the much more poetic Novä, is Lipšic’s tendency to write new rules – he plans to draft a new constitution and talks of introducing a new morality into public life. Well, it seems new grammar is on the list as well.

It’s still too early to say what the new party will bring to Slovak politics and predict its success. For now, Lipšic’s talk of a new majority seems like the “ä” trying to beat the “e”.

Top stories

Mazal Tov, the annual festival of Jewish culture aspires to merge history, traditions and culture.

Jewish heritage still alive

MONUMENTS, synagogues and cemeteries are reminders that Slovakia once had a significant Jewish minority with a tradition enriching all spheres of life for centuries. 

Several scenarios after Greece’s referendum

THERE are several scenarios which may follow the Sunday referendum in which Greeks overwhelmingly voted against conditions for a rescue package, but Slovak Finance Minister Peter Kažimír does not believe that…

Pilgrimage in Levoča

Two religious gatherings took place around the holiday of Ss Cyril and Methodius

THIS year’s pilgrimage to Mariánska hora (Marian Hill) in Levoča which attracted 600,000 of the faithful over two days was rounded off by a Holy Mass on July 5 celebrated by Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz, archbishop of…

Roy Vercoulen

Better product-design leads to sustainability

TURNING off your heating system, using less water and travelling less by car are not the best ways to support sustainability.