godricgal: (Default)
[personal profile] godricgal
So yesterday, I was chugging across the M27, on my way to my parents' house, when I couldn't help but notice that no one on the motorway was speeding. This made me wonder what all these other people knew that I didn't: Police car about? Speed Cameras on every lamppost? Regular patrol zone? And then I somehow stumbled onto the idea that perhaps, en masse, people were trying to conserve petrol, with the aim of saving money, and pondered on the idea of an unforeseen bonus for the environment in people needing to look after the pennies. Then, just for fun, because the M27 really is a rather uninteresting road, I tried to come up with a headline for the imaginary research I'd do, and started with, "Carbon Footprints Reduce As Unexpected Side-effect of the..."

And then I stopped, because, to my horror, I found myself almost saying 'economic downturn' and even worse, I can't say that the words 'credit crunch' weren't lingering threateningly at the back of my mind. Happily, the proper word, 'recession' was but a second behind, and my headline was complete, but my near-miss gave me something to think about for the Southampton to Junction 1 leg of the motorway, which exceeds the other half for dullness.

"Economic Downturn" is invalid in every sense. First of all, isn't 'downturn' a bit of a temporary noun? Is not a downturn only a downturn at the moment it happens? After that event, the trajectory can only be down, forward, or up, another turn only being present in the latter. If you're already going down, you can't turn down again, it's just varying degrees of downness, but there's no turning involved.

It sounds silly, I'm sure, to be getting my knickers in a twist about this, but why has there been such a pointed effort to avoid calling the status of our economy by its proper term? It's a recession. Call a spade a spade. I'm fully aware, of course, that these terms emerged from media hype, but it has been perpetuated at every level.

Every politician who refused to acknowledge that we were heading into a recession, by avoiding the proper term, now looks like a fool for their inability to recognise the signs (whether they did or not) and if they were unable to do that, why should I trust that their predications of when we're going to get out of it are worth their salt, or not just being blindly and foolishly optimistic?

But this isn't really about honesty. It's about being realistic. Politicians and journalists are not the only ones guilty of this. How can we expect to make relevant and successful responses to troublesome situations if we refuse to accept the reality of them? And this doesn't just stand for this situation, there is evidence of it everywhere you look. People avoid inconvenient truths because, in the short term, it makes their lives easier. And that is never going to do anything but make a bad situation worse.

Right, now I've got that off my chest I can get back to writing my [livejournal.com profile] metamorfic_moon fic.

Disclaimer: this is not intended to start a debate about the recession. Yes, I'm looking at you, [livejournal.com profile] patriot_jackie. ;)

Date: 2009-07-16 09:31 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] patriot-jackie.livejournal.com
XD LOL There's certainly nothing to debate! I couldn't agree with you more...... except that over here in the States, we are referring to it as a recession. "Economic downturn" over here is just a synonym along with a range of other terms for it.

That is funny though about your observation, though. But here, more people seem to be into idling at green lights more often... >.> The price of gas over here has dramatically dropped recently; is the same true over yonder for y'all?

Date: 2009-07-16 10:06 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] godricgal.livejournal.com
Jolly good. It's not that our esteemed leaders don't now acknowledge that we're in recession, it's that there is an infuriating insistence on referring to it as something else. The word 'recession' seems to have been deemed to have too many negative connotations to dare use as an everyday word, but I don't like the idea of having less negative synonyms for it because it masks reality.

I don't think my 'observation' holds any weight, it was just one of those rambling trains of thought things, a very long one, lol. Petrol did go down a bit, but it's shot back up again to pretty much as high as it ever was - just under $4 a US gallon at the moment.

Date: 2009-07-17 02:08 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] patriot-jackie.livejournal.com
it was just one of those rambling trains of thought things, a very long one, lol.

o.o I think if you ever heard Ter and I go on about things, you might literally question our sanity. ... Or maybe just our maturity. LOL

Wow. :( We're $2.13 here today; lowest it's been in a long while. It's a pity I'm in the midst of testing to see the MPG on my jeep or I'd fill up!!

Date: 2009-07-17 03:46 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sspring92.livejournal.com
I find it hilarious that the Powers That Be don't want to use the term recession. Like the mere utterance of this word will send us into a frenzy of non-spending. It's doesn't matter what you call it, it all means the same thing! It's rather like calling Voldemort "YOu-Know-Who"!

Date: 2009-07-19 12:24 pm (UTC)
sea_thoughts: (DWPretty Meh - lemonstation)
From: [personal profile] sea_thoughts
When I heard the phrase 'economic downturn', I think of the economy looking down for an instant and then moving on!

And it's because everyone's afraid to use a big serious word like 'repression'. Have you seen In The Thick Of It or In The Loop? Very good on how politicians do (and don't) use words.

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