Words can move markets

A New York Times story today talks about the media's word choices when it comes to reporting on the brewing financial crisis:

Rumor, speculation and fear can cripple a bank with shocking speed. That has reporters and editors, so often accused of hyperbole and sowing alarm, parsing their words with unusual care.

So in most of the news, stocks have “slid” and markets “gyrated” but not “crashed.” Companies have “tottered” and “struggled” rather than moved toward failure and bankruptcy.

What else aren't they saying?

“ ‘Crash,’ ‘panic,’ ‘pandemonium,’ ‘apocalypse,’ those are the words we’re staying away from,” said Robert H. Christie, a spokesman for The Wall Street Journal, now part of the News Corporation.

Thanks to Andy Bechtel at The Editor's Desk for pointing this story out.