Thursday, December 17, 2009

Newspeak mot du jour: nothing is more expected than the unexpected

The fresh thin lustre on last week's rosy unemployment numbers has hardly set when today's news sober us up with an "unexpected rise in unemplyment". Oh la la, the unexpected! Now who would have thought!

Running "unexpected" in Google Trends, we notice an, um, unexpected trend in the media, with many gems over the last year announcing unexpected February new home sales, Retail sales fall unexpectedly in March, Retail sales dip unexpectedly, jobless claims rise (in August), Consumer confidence unexpectedly falls in Sept., New home sales unexpectedly tumble (October) , and the more recent New jobless claims fall unexpectedly to 457K.

Things were never so unexpected!

This picture is worth a thousand words, assuming each of these words has more value than the inflated "unexpected" (the media mentions of the word are on the lower pane):

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