Unknown Knowns of Russian

The Russian language has many unknown knowns. This is one of the pleasures of learning the basics of Cyrillic Alphabet

On Monday I was listening to Esko Aho, ex prime minister of Finland, deliver a talk about various kinds of challenges Finns face in Russian markets. As I was about to receive, a few minutes later, an award for the proposal to teach the Cyrillic Alphabet in Finnish Schools, I was trying to pick something from his talk.

At some point Aho was referring to Donald Rumsfeld’s well-known remarks on the known knowns and unknown unknowns. I had a vague recollection of reading that Slavoj Zizek had been emphasizing the importance of unknown knowns as something that Rumsfeld never paid much attention to. Continue reading

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