Archive for November, 2008

Words that should be banned: “Boutique”

Friday, November 28th, 2008

Don’t get me wrong, “boutique” as a noun is fine. It’s “boutique” as an adjective that grates. From hotels to hedge funds, it seems that everything is “boutique” these days. (more…)

Words that should be banned: Decline

Tuesday, November 18th, 2008

Here’s something annoying that I’m spotting more and more often: journalists’ increasing use of the word “decline” when they mean “refuse”. (more…)

Seven pernicious euphemisms of the current financial crisis

Thursday, November 13th, 2008

Shares – down.

House prices – down.

Commodities – down.

But there’s one market that’s booming: the market for disingenuous financial euphemisms. (more…)

What’s missing?

Wednesday, November 5th, 2008

I recently blogged about the perils of assuming too much knowledge on behalf of your readers (see “Why you should write for grandmothers and Martians”).

Today I came across an example of writing where the most fundamental question in the reader’s mind was, very confusingly, left unanswered. (more…)

And a “negative increase” is what, exactly?

Monday, November 3rd, 2008

One of my readers spotted this piece of brain-frying copy, from “Inflation punctures deflation fears”, an article by Krishna Guha in the usually crystal clear FT:

“The danger is deflation defined as a sustained negative rate of underlying domestic price increases.”

Huh? Any economists out there got any idea what this means? Am I being too simplistic to think “falling prices” would have been a better way of putting it?