This is going to be a column on sobriety – тре́звость. For three reasons.
First, a piece on Russian vocabulary depicting the state of inebriation – состоя́ние опьяне́ния – would take a book, while sobriety can fit in one page.
Second, my first-ever American host (Chicago, 1988) was a member of Alcoholics Anonymous (анони́мные алкого́лики – we have this here too now). That year, on the night of my 27th birthday, like all newly-converted zealots, my host preached the virtues of his new motto, тре́звость но́рма жи́зни (as we used to say in Soviet times), while sipping his non-alcoholic beer (нулёвочка).
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