There's a new sighting of the well-worn "There's no word for accountability in X" snowclone, which we first noticed back in 2006 ("Solving the World's Problems with Linguistics"), and picked up again just about a year ago ("Annals of 'No word for X'"). The usual function of this rhetorical trope, as documented in those posts, is to explain why bankers/business-executives/bureaucrats from a wide range of non-Anglophone counties, from Angola to Iceland, are so feckless — they simply can't understand the concept of accountability, poor things, since their language lacks the word. The cultural assumptions are probably no more true than the linguistic ones, of course — my impression is that in actual fact, Anglophone bankers etc. can give the rest of the world a substantial fecklessness handicap and still win going away. I mean, did Silvio Berlusconi ever misplace 1.2 billion dollars of someone else's money, as a certain American ex-Senator recently did? But I digress.
Anyhow, the latest example turns the trope on its head, and uses it to explain why Finnish schools are so well managed.
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