On December 16th, in "Why Russia Is Wrecking The Ruble," Forbes wrote:
So far this year the ruble has lost half of its value against the dollar. This drastic move demonstrates that plunging oil prices are hammering Moscow far more than are the tepid, half-hearted sanctions imposed by the West after Putin’s seizure of Crimea and his machinations to effectively make Ukraine a Russian satrap.
This followed the appearance of satrap in a Forbes piece earlier in the year, "Saving Ukraine's Currency Will Help Save Ukraine from Putin":
“Ukraine’s Currency Hits a New Low” blared a Wall Street Journal headline earlier this week. The hryvnia’s woes are attributed to Russia’s none-too-subtle efforts to annex, Crimea-style, a piece of eastern Ukraine and force the rest of the country into becoming a de facto Kremlin satrap.
We're thrilled that Forbes is trotting out the not-often-seen word, but want to offer a correction. Coming into English from Persian, the word refers to the governor or ruler of a province of an empire. When referring to the province under that person's control, the word is satrapy. Here's how the distinction is described in our Dictionary:
We might suggest that Mr. Forbes brush up on the word's meaning by scanning the usage examples that also appear on our Dictionary definition page.
One of the example sentences, which uses the word correctly, is actually in a piece by fellow Forbes contributor Paul Roderick Gregory.
Putin’s forces would stay, Ukrainian forces would leave, and the Donbass would be run by his unsavory satraps.
("If The Wales NATO Summit Is Business-As-Usual, Putin Will Threaten NATO Itself")
Consider this a rare instance where the satrap, not the emperor, is the one to have the final word.
- Rate this article: