Author Archives: Lane

What’s new

Long time, no update, but in the past few months, while in business-finance mode I’ve written about clubby boardrooms, Germans’ low-return investment habits, the arms-export industry, and German business lobbying against sanctions on Russia.   With the language hat on, … Continue reading

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The Economist, “Bulgaria: Succeeding in spite of the state”

One of the most fascinating reporting trips I’ve ever had was my recent one in Sofia. I talked to entrepreneurs whose creativity and grit in starting businesses in 1990s Bulgaria would make the most peacocking Silicon Valley company-founder blush. MILEN … Continue reading

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Bilingualism rocks

Two recent Johnson columns on bilingualism have been surprise hits. The first, "Bringing up baby bilingual", discusses the cognitive benefits of doing exactly that for your child. (Amazingly, bilingualism’s benefits last until old age.) The second column offers some answers … Continue reading

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Johnson on taking offense, “Denglisch” and the hardness of English

My latest Johnson columns have been on taking offense where obviously none was intended ("Deliberate misunderstanding"); a look at the English words slipping haphazardly into German ("Denglisch"); and an answer to the question: "Is English hard to learn?"

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Dateline: Berlin

I’ve now been in Berlin for a month, getting moved in and settling in a new office while also squeezing in a short vacation. In between, I’ve written two Johnson pieces (now in column format): one, an introduction to the … Continue reading

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Intelligent Life, “Think Similar”

"Believe in better." "In search of incredible." The advertising craze of making nouns out of adjectives has become overdone "Grammar play is like free verse, splatter painting or low-fi music. The first to get to the idea grabs attention just by … Continue reading

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The Economist, “English atop the Eurovision pile”

Language, of course, plays a role at Eurovision. "Ethnicity" in Europe is often linguistic: an ethnic Russian is not apparent on the streets of Riga until he opens his mouth. Linguistic neighbors will tend to be generous to one another. … Continue reading

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The Economist, “To the brainy, the spoils”

As the world grows more confusing, demand for clever consultants is booming ELITE management consultancies shun the spotlight. They hardly advertise: everyone who might hire them already knows their names. The Manhattan office that houses McKinsey & Company does not … Continue reading

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The Economist, “Second-hand suits”

COMPANIES need to make the best returns on the assets they have in hand. But what if a company does not know that it has them, or whether it can use them? In some cases a lawsuit could be a … Continue reading

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Auf Wiedersehen, Brooklyn, Hallo, Berlin

A bit of news that has kept me busy enough not to post much here recently: in July, I’ll be moving to Berlin to take up a new posting as The Economist‘s Central Europe business and finance correspondent. 

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