Between the Lines Toasts are the lingua franca of diplomacy.

Toasts are the lingua franca of diplomacy. But as with modern poetry and legal jargon, toasts demand interpretation. For example:

What They Said

Gorbachev: "As we see it . . . habitual stereotypes stemming from enemy images have been shaken loose."

What They Meant

At last you've abandoned that "evil empire" stuff.

What They Said

Reagan: "Mr. General Secretary, we know that on matters of great importance we will continue to differ profoundly."

What They Meant

I'm not giving up Star Wars.

What They Said

Gorbachev: "Our dialogue . . . has, however, so far been moving much more slowly than is required by the real situation."

What They Meant

If you don't give up Star Wars, I'll just have to...

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