In memory of Viktor Chermomyrdin

Some of the greatest lines of the former Russian prime minster who died today (alas, no translation can really capture the tortured syntax of the original; many more on Russian Wikiquote here):

Что говорить о Черномырдине и обо мне?
What can I say about Chernomyrdin and me?

Хуже водки лучше нет!
Better than vodka there is nothing worse!

В Югославии катастрофа. Катастрофа – это всегда плохо!
In Yugoslavia it is a disaster. And disasters are always bad!

Пиво без водки — деньги на ветер
Beer without vodka is money down the drain.

Были у нас и бюджеты реальные, но мы все равно их с треском проваливали.
And we had a real budget, but we still failed miserably.

Учителя и врачи хотят есть практически каждый день!
Teachers and doctors want to eat practically every day!

Вино нам нужно для здоровья. А здоровье нам нужно, чтобы пить водку.
We need wine to be healthy. And we need to be healthy so that we can drink vodka.

Хотели как лучше, а получилось как всегда.
We wanted the best, but things turned out as usual.

The keen-eyed reader may spot a recurrent theme.

One thought on “In memory of Viktor Chermomyrdin

  1. The reason generally given is that apparently lawsuits have happened in both directions — someone gave a good reference on Person A, and in the new job Person A turned out to be a destructive loon, or someone gave a bad reference for Person A and cost them a job. So to avoid any possible problems, you make no judgments at all, merely confirm the fact of employment.

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