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fatbunyip t1_j9iqsa4 wrote

Because it's an English word that means exactly what this guy is - someone govt appointed who has responsibility for a certain policy area. (In addition to the other meaning of Russian nobility)

It's a news headline, so brevity is key. As opposed to saying "Frans Timmermans, Executive Vice President of the European Commission for the European Green Deal and European Commissioner for Climate Action", you can say EU climate czar.


Alastair_Campbell t1_j9j435g wrote

Responsibility but not absolute authority. Climate..

  • secretary

  • minister

  • envoy

  • delegate

  • consul

  • ambassador

  • plenipotentiary

  • lieutenant

..would be more appropriate.


fatbunyip t1_j9j5tq4 wrote

From the Oxford dictionary:

Czar : an official whose job is to advise the government on policy in a particular area

It's a perfectly acceptable use of the word, and is very common. It has nothing to do with whether they have absolute authority or not.


atvan t1_j9k23nw wrote

Most of those words means specific things in modern politics though, which is significantly more confusing. Commissioner would work since it's actually correct, but shorter headlines are better generally.


zer1223 t1_j9ksljm wrote

But printed media sources would have really enjoyed having the word "czar" more, as this makes for nicer headlines. Easier for typesetting, can do bigger print with the same space on the paper since you have fewer letters, etc. So this seems like a holdover from the days of printed papers.


Indocede t1_j9k15hu wrote

Well if they were more appropriate, czar would not be the common word for such a position. And for the reasons you take issue with czar, that it has other meanings, also rules out all the words you suggested, moreso given the meanings of those words tend to be rigid; whereas czar is a word that exists because of flexible which we can understand through its etymological history.