|Comrade Mugabe, who is 90, scratching his head|
at Ms Latynina's mathematics
The readership of this blog continues to rise, yet the number of mistakes in published English from people who ought to know better does not seem to fall.
In today’s Moscow Times, Yulia Latynina has a sensible and intelligent article about the psychology of psychopathic political rulers. It is entitled The Ideology of Losers and it deserves a wide readership. But how wide will that readership be when the author makes absurd statements like the one below?
“Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has ruled for more than 33 years. Even while the country's population rose from 7 million to 12 million during his reign, the gross domestic product fell by 350 percent.”
No such indicator can fall by 350%. This is not an issue of translation. It is one of logic. I have written about several times, most recently on 7 February last year.
If the Zimbabwean economy 33 years ago was the size it was, then it was 100% of itself, obviously. How can it contract by more than its total size? There can be no such thing as a negative-sized economy. I have no idea what Ms Latynina wants us to understand by this nonsensical statement. Any reader who can suggest a meaning should send a comment. Better still, they should pass this post on to Ms Latynina herself, copying it to the head Comrade so he can stop scratching his nonagenarian head about it.