Posted by: Idioma Extra | April 19, 2011

The Weird and the Wonderful

Thief? World leader teased for pocketing pen

Video showing Czech president discreetly pocketing ceremonial pen goes viral


PRAGUE — Czech media chided President Vaclav Klaus on Tuesday after a viral Internet video showed him discreetly pocketing a ceremonial pen during a visit to Chile in what viewers are calling a theft.

The video “The Czech Republic’s president steals a pen” shows Klaus admiring the pen during a news conference with Chilean President Sebastian Piñera, then holding it under the table where he appears to put it in his pocket.

The video has logged more than 100,000 in two days and caused a media stir, with television news shows repeating the video and papers splashing it on the front page.

“Even though protocol allows Klaus to take the pen, with which the foreign minister signed a transport agreement, as a souvenir, Internet users are branding the Czech president as a thief,” daily Mlada Fronta Dnes wrote.

Presidential spokesman Radim Ochvat said Klaus had a right to take the pen, which presidents and their delegations get on state visits. “We at the Prague Castle always give such a pen to delegations, along with a notepad,” he said.

Word of the Day

chide: \ˈchīd\
Origin: Middle English, from Old English cīdan to quarrel, chide, from cīd strife
First Known Use: before 12th century
chid or chid·edchid or chid·den or chidedchid·ing
1: to speak out in angry or displeased rebuke
2: to voice disapproval to: reproach in a usually mild and constructive manner: scold

More vocabulary

Brand: v. to mark with disapproval: stigmatize
Log: v.
to make a note or record of
Pocket: v. to appropriate to one’s own use: steal
Protocol: n. a code prescribing strict adherence to correct etiquette and precedence
Theft: n. the felonious taking and removing of personal property with intent to deprive the rightful owner of it
Stir: v. to rouse to activity : evoke strong feelings in
Viral: adj. quickly and widely spread or popularized especially by person-to-person electronic communication


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