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22 May 2014

Wrong word, Chris!

In today’s Moscow Times, one of the paper’s best and most civilized columnists, Chris Weafer (who writes about economics), makes an uncharacteristic mistake. In the course of an interesting article about the long-run primacy of economics over politics for politicians who wish to stay popular, he writes:
“The IMF has so far dispersed $3.2 billion of the promised $17 billion aid deal [to the Ukraine], with the balance to be dispersed over the next two years on the condition that the Kiev government meets the austerity measures agreed.
     “Dispersed”? Ouch! It should have been “disbursed”. You disperse your forces in order to avoid undue concentration; and a team disperses after the season ends, when everyone goes home to celebrate the triumphs of the summer.
     Money, however, is disbursed when it is handed out, just as when it is wrongly disbursed the payer might ask that he or she be reimbursed by the payees.
     A small point, but a surprise. Because I know him slightly, I am prepared to credit Chris with the suspicion that this was a mistake by the often less-than-expert proof-readers at the Moscow Times, and that he remains blameless. 
     Slainte, old boy!


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