A Handbook of Economic Neologisms

By Kafandaris, Stelios P. | Journal of Economic Issues, March 1995 | Go to article overview

A Handbook of Economic Neologisms


Kafandaris, Stelios P., Journal of Economic Issues


The time required for the adoption of innovations in the organization of economics is directly proportional to their simplicity and utility. This is so trivial a statement as to be easily converted into a folk theorem (unlike the real folk theorem, which is far from trivial). For instance, the simple, robust, nonstandard-analytic, masterstroke innovation in the J. Econ. Lit. where the selected abstracts appear encapsulated together with the non-selected plebeian. The journal had 30 years of tatonnement for this traverse, an infinite life for some finite lived agents. It could hardly be claimed that nontrivial iteration between the general and the selected abstracts via the name index was an efficient process, although some biconditional orthogonality was apparent. Perhaps, initially, the journal took a calculated temporal risk, which did not lead to impatience of its overlapping generations readership and then took a further risk of disturbing the adjacent complementarity in perusing, known as habit forming and habit persistent. Still there is valid optimism that this nonneglected heterogeneity will persist without regrets.

In the passage above, some 20 economic neologisms have been awkwardly crammed at the expense of clarity in order to make a point about their undue proliferation and as introduction to another, far more important and equally belated innovation, an efficient guidebook for recent jargon. It is communicated in a rush to the Journal of Economic Issues with the same sense of urgency that a scientific discovery is relayed to Nature, Science, or Physical Review Letters:

A group of economic lexicographers, appropriately called The Soloikos Group of Athens, have launched a fabulous lexicon, modestly titled A Catalogue of Late Economic Idiom. It is yet another simple and robust innovation, long overdue, although some of the time elapsed should be counted as the inevitable production period.

Very briefly, the document contains innumerable entries estimated by an inexact sampling process at 2,000 idioms, including variations, and encompassing economic and econometric initials. All items are listed alphabetically in English and are also separately reclassified at the back in six generic categories: Scientistic Terms, Initials, Name-Attributes, Colloquialisms, Metaphors, and Economic Stories. These generic categories are as arbitrary as the famous taxonomy in the old Chinese encyclopaedia (flat animals, embalmed, animals belonging to the emperor, etc.). While this reshuffling is not operationally important, the indices acquire a momentum of their own as a tacit but powerful critique on the course of economics in the deconstructionist mode; they will be dealt with in extenso later.

The entries include, when applicable, a brief definition, the originating reference, the adopting reference, and, occasionally, further references indicating the period when there was heavy use of the term. Sources are summarily dealt with in every entry (in the manner of the J. Econ. Lit.), and they are appended alphabetically in full at the end of the work. Some of the originating references are dated, but the mode of adopted neologisms falls within the normal neologistic time-span, estimated at about 40 years. As it so happens with economic research and publication processes, the form is exponential over time, and the incidence of the majority of neologisms is post-1978.

The criterion for the acceptance of an entry as a bona fide neologism is its adoption verbatim by a number of early zealots. There are no strict criteria on the frequency of citation, and much is left to the subjective views of the collectors. It is obvious that they relied heavily on the latest On Disk EconLit CD-ROM, but their task was formidable as cross-referencing and verification required further extensive bibliographic research.

The core clientele addressed by the handbook appears to be the non-specialist but inquisitive economist who might just want to look up an unexplained neologism. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

A Handbook of Economic Neologisms
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.