I hope I’m not offending my Czech readers with my inconsistent use (or lack of use) of hačeks and čarkas – characters such as ěÅ¡čřžýáíé and so on. It’s nothing more than a laziness on my own part. Eventually I plan to hire a staff of copy editors, fact checkers and ghostwriters, so that I can file from my undisclosed location in the Å umava.

So please, “čeÅ¡tinaři,” accept my apologies in advance.

On a somewhat related note, why can’t the English-speaking countries sign a bilateral pact with the Czech Republic on pronunciation. Under such a pact, English-speaking countries will stop referring to VaKK-lav Havel, but the Czechs have to stop referring to Tom Cruu-EEEZ.