Word of the Day: Otevist


One of the more fun things you can do in the Romanian language is spontaneously create adjectives from acronyms. One of my favorite is “otevist”, which you won’t find in any dictionary but means “of or relating to OTV” based on the way those letters are pronounced in Romanian (o te vi + st).

OTV is short for Oglinda TV or “Mirror” television. It is essentially the home to all things low brow on Romanian TV from rants against Hungarians to UFO sightings to lots and lots of gossip and speculation (plus ghosts and the supernatural). In short, calling someone an otevist is an insult and generally infers that they are uneducated.

OTV is owned by a man named Dian Diaconescu who has a regular talk show in which he endlessly discusses conspiracies and other fringe subjects. However he also founded his own political party in 2010, now called the People’s Party but the original full name was Dan Diaconescu’s People’s Party (in English it sounds like the name of a music show, eh?). You got to love a man who not only hogs the airtime on his own TV channel but also names a political party after himself.

Sadly, the career of Dan Diaconescu somewhat mirrors that of Geraldo Rivera, both starting out as reputable journalists and then losing a lot of respect as they began a long descent into sensationalism.

Today I noticed that a government board took OTV off the air for three hours after repeated violation of election laws because Dan Diaconescu used OTV to promote his own political party.

One of the many benefits of living in Europe, and Romania specifically, is there are strict limits on exactly when political parties and politicians can begin campaigning before elections (currently 6 weeks beforehand I believe). Meanwhile over in America campaigning for the presidency has been ongoing for over a year now and the elections won’t even be held until November. If you live in Romania you probably don’t realize that the American TV channels have been flooded with political ads for months. Frankly I don’t know why it takes more than 6 weeks to explain your positions and to convince people to vote for you. But hey, that’s why I live here.

AND NOW YOU KNOW!

5 Comments Add yours

  1. Cristi says:

    I try to stay away from cable TV. Watch whatever you want online and don’t bother with OTV, etc. :D Only time i switch to TV is when i fall asleep late at night, i set the off timer and leave it on Nat Geo.

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  2. Dan (Pitesti) says:

    tv stations from here always want to have huge ratings,and then announced on their TV that they are “victorius” in ratings something like this:
    ” We announced you, proudly, that our television “A” won between the hours 21.00 – 22.00 yesterday,capture the audience despite other televisons (“B” and “C” =the rivals) sucks in this time interval” Hooray for us!!!” :)) romanians are funny most of the time.

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  3. And still another good thing about Romanian television, which I discovered while at several hotels there last summer, is that the English-language CNN channel reports the news in a calm, matter-of-fact manner, unlike here where every announcer speaks in an out-of-breath, panicky, almost shouting, manner, as if the world as we know it soon may end. It’s also nice that the CNN-Europe telecast was not interrupted nearly so often by advertisements. Hooray!

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  4. greetings from Detroit says:

    Another good thing about romanian TV is that farmaceutical companies are not allowed to advertize drugs. Is that still the case anymore?

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    1. jos_cenzura says:

      I don’t think that’s a good thing… it’s elitism! The masses are too easily duped so we (the anointed) must make the rules as to what can be advertised, when campaigns can take place and what can be said in those campaigns, etc… More totalitarian BS, European-style…

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