Econ 479

The Art of Writing, the Science of Economics

A Perfect Storm

A full-blown dollar crisis on top of a credit crunch and a weakening economy would be frightening. It would send financial markets reeling and tie the hands of the Fed, perhaps forcing it to raise interest rates even as recession looms. The sky-high euro would soar further, choking off Europe’s growth. Political tensions would also rise. Already Airbus has called the dollar’s decline “life-threatening” and France’s president, Nicolas Sarkozy, has given warning of “economic war”. 

So observes The Economist in a dramatic article. The lede (“The weather may be cold and wet, but in the rich world’s financial markets it is beginning to feel like August all over again”) is a touch forced, but there’s no mistaking the journal’s concern over current economic trends.A few annotations:1. The Economist‘s writers and editors call the publication a “paper,” though it’s been a weekly magazine since 1843. British English has its peculiarities.2. On that note, as the excerpt shows, British English usage is to put punctuation outside quotation marks. In American English usage, punctuation goes inside quotation marks: “economic war.”3. American newspaper people traditionally call the first paragraph of an article the “lede,” which clearly means the leading text. The spelling was instituted to distinguish the word from “lead,” the metal, from which old-fashioned type was made. No more: with very rare exceptions, publications now use “cold type,” or computerized typesetting.


Written by gregorymcnamee

November 29, 2007 at 6:58 pm

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