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09 July 2016

Words are all about context, as a Turkish diplomat once demonstrated

Right now I am reading an excellent book about the origins of the Cold War, called Six Months in 1945, by Michael Dobbs, a British author now resident in the United States. When describing the Yalta conference in February 1945, at which the "war" started (in his view, and I think he is right), Dobbs writes about the British Ambassador to the Soviet Union in terms which vividly illustrate the importance of context when understanding what words mean. Sir Archibald Clark Kerr, an unconventional, Australian-born Scot, was introduced to the Turkish Ambassador, and the rest is a pure lesson in linguistic contextualization - see below:

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