A Glossary of Russia’s Economic Euphemisms


“Newspeak” in Russian is “novoyaz.”

This handy glossary of politically correct journalistic vocabulary in times of crisis comes to us courtesy of the “Open Electronic Newspaper” Forum.msk.ru, whose slogan is “Who owns information, owns the world”. The article remains tantalizingly silent about whether or not this is an actual list handed down from above or merely the work of a humorist.

…real assessments of the situation somehow pass by the domestic media. On the blogs there has even appeared a “Handbook for Socially Responsible Journalists, Bloggers and PRasts” [sic], how to correctly describe what is going on in officialise:

“Crisis” – ought to write – “world crisis”
“Threat of devaluation” – financial crisis in the USA
“Devaluation” – the undervaluedness of the ruble is growing
“Dollar is growing” – the European currency is demonstrating a negative dynamic
“They have reduced wages” – the personal efficiency of everybody has gone up
“A bank has collapsed” – coalescence of the banking system
“No job openings” – the personnel shortage in Russia has been overcome
“Oil has gotten cheaper by two” – prices for gasoline have fallen by 0.37%!
“No money” – liquidity has decreased
“Layoff” – release
“Without severance pay” – without excess baggage but with a good recommendation
“Buying dollars” – optimizing the currency basket
“No dollars in the exchange office” – banks are preferring the Russian currency
“High dollar exchange rate” – unwarranted speculative exchange rate for the falling American currency.
“Mass layoffs” – personnel optimization by companies
“I’ve been laid off” – I’ve gone freelance
“Dollar” – the falling-in-the-long-term American currency

Photo:  A man stands next to a currency exchange-rate sign in Moscow on November 13, 2008. Russia‘s two main stock markets, the RTSand the MICEX, suspended trading on November 13 after plunging at theopening, following trading suspensions the previous day. (AFP/Getty Images)