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Buzzing with the latest jargon

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Monday, September 01, 2008

For University of Oregon professor and Economist’s View blog founder Mark Thoma the term “stagflation” is old news.

“In the 1970s we needed to describe supply shocks … inflation and unemployment at the same time,” says Thoma. “It was a way to convey that new idea through the word itself.”

Fast-forward to summer 2008. Gas prices across the country escalated to record highs. For vacationers that meant sticking close to home. For news writers and economics professors it signaled the invention of a new buzzword.

They all welcomed “staycation” with open arms.

Find “staycation” in The Wall Street Journal’s jargon tracker and you’ll see major media publications and bloggers laid it on thick in June and July. But the summer vacation season is over and Thoma says it’s only a matter of time before the birth of another buzzword.

“We may soon need a word to describe a jobless recovery,” says Thoma, referring to when unemployment remains high after the economy is healed. What’s a possibility?  “Unrecovery” has a nice buzz to it.    

CHRIS MILLER


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