We’re talking about the D word, people. The fine folks over at The Economist did a snazzy graph showing that spikes of mentions of the D word in print happened at the same time as various economic crises during the past two decades. Coincidence…???
(And, sorry, we’re not saying/writing it. We have to be responsible. Journalists have super powers and if we say something IT WILL HAPPEN!*)
Anyway, the folks over at The New York Times kind of knew to zip it two weeks ago. The fabulously named Richard Pérez-Peña (yes, it took me 10 minutes to figure out how to type those accents) had a piece in which he pointed out just that:
Each day presents new evidence that finance companies are uniquely vulnerable to a loss of confidence among creditors, trading partners, investors or customers. As a result, rumour, speculation and fear can cripple a bank with shocking speed. That has reporters and editors, so often accused of hyperbole and sowing alarm, parsing their words with unusual care.
So in most of the news, stocks have “slid” and markets “gyrated” but not “crashed.” Companies have “tottered” and “struggled” rather than moved toward failure and bankruptcy.
….This year, the media have been accused of contributing to the collapse of both Bear Stearns and IndyMac, a large California thrift, so journalists are more aware of the risk of stoking fear — and the risk of being blamed.
…” ‘Crash,’ ‘panic,’ ‘pandemonium,’ ‘apocalypse,’ those are the words we’re staying away from,” said Robert H. Christie, a spokesman for The Wall Street Journal, now part of the News Corporation.
I’m striking all these words from my daily discourse, except perhaps Pandemonium. It was after all, a fine movie.
*But we will write it in a tag, for SEO purposes. Priorities.
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