I’ve given up trying to fight “the credit crunch”

There are some battles you just can’t win. As I blogged back in June (see the credit crunch and other myths), “the credit crunch” is being incorrectly used as a general term to describe all economic woes. Back then I vowed to fight: to keep trying to use the term only when referring to the lack of available credit in the financial sector.

Now I’ve given up fighting for the purity of the lexicon. There are two main reasons for this stance change.

  • The Credit Crunch has a much bigger bite.

    First because the real world impact of the credit crunch (strict definition) is much greater. Six months ago much of it was still contained within the City, and most people hadn’t felt it. That really isn’t true now: home owners, small businesses and general consumers have all felt its bite.

  • The term has morphed.

    Language is dynamic, and “the Credit Crunch” is such a hackneyed phrase. I’ve always thought that in my job you should steer clear of jargon, and try and explain things any way that works. Now that “credit crunch” has become a common usage catch-all to describe economic woes, it seems to have become delinked from its original meaning.

So from now on, if you see me interviewed on “the credit crunch” and its impact on the cost of rice crispies, I won’t be snapping (or snap, crackle and popping) back that there is none. Now it’ll be a seamless response as if they’d just said “economic downturn”.

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