call a spade a spade

Cohen, Gerald Leonard gcohen at MST.EDU
Wed Jun 18 02:43:11 UTC 2008

Btw, I checked Google for Merkel's exact wording, and found it in the excerpt below.  Notice that "call a spade a spade" has a confrontational tinge that's lacking in Merkel's formulation.  Even the semantically close "not beat around the bush" has somewhat aggressive/confrontational overtones.  Merkel had to walk a fine line between diplomacy (she's proud of restoring good will in Germany's relations with the U.S.) and toughness (for domestic consumption). Imho, she handled the task very well.

Gerald Cohen

[excerpt on the Merkel-Bush meeting]:
Freundschaftlich, offen, direkt und konstruktiv nennen Bush und die Kanzlerin das bilaterale Verhältnis. "Es macht Spaß, weil man nicht um den heißen Brei herumreden muss", sagt Merkel.

[Translation: Bush and the Chancellor call the bilateral relationship friendly, open, direct, and constructive.  "It's fun, because we don't have to beat around the bush," says Merkel.]

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