Credit the cool insight

July 25, 2013

Alexander Maxwell cites a student as committing an exam howler for confusing Pavlik Morozov, “the Soviet youth murdered by his family after informing on his parents” with “a Russian explorer who discovered the true meaning of Christmas” (“Protectorate was a ‘piranha state’ ”, 18 July).

I would have rewarded the student for ingenuity because G. F. Morozov (1867-1920) was a pioneer Russian expert in forestry, and the surname contains “moroz”, the Russian for “frost”. Ded moroz (Grandfather Frost), the equivalent of our Father Christmas, defines, if not the true, then at least a partial meaning of this festive season.

R. E. Rawles
Honorary research fellow in psychology
University College London

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