For the past few years, I’ve been doing financial writing on the side for supplemental income (i.e., virtually my whole income). It’s pretty basic stuff, mostly just telling investors how their portfolio did compared to a particular benchmark. While my sample size is limited, I have noticed a trend of what I call “quasi-jargon”: terms that are peculiar to financial discourse, yet do not seem to add any meaning whatsoever.
My (least) favorite example is “newsflow.” From context clues, I have determined that “newsflow” is information that becomes known in the public sphere and impacts stock prices in a positive or negative way depending on whether the information itself is positive or negative. In other words, “newsflow” is “news.” The addition of “flow” to the end — unmediated by either a space or a hyphen, mind you — adds absolutely nothing that I can tell. The only argument in its favor is perhaps that it’s a shorter way of saying “a stream of news that’s consistently positive or negative,” but isn’t the “flow” aspect of it already implicit in the very concept of news itself?
Other examples are less clear. One always “reiterates” guidance (management’s official expectations for revenue, etc.), for instance — one never “reaffirms” it, nor “holds it steady,” nor any other possible synonym: it’s “reiterate” only. In my mind, this is a second type of quasi-jargon. Instead of making up a new term that duplicates an existing term, you capture a completely normal word and make it play a jargon-like role, as though it’s irreplaceable. But it’s perfectly replaceable, and insisting on this particular word accomplishes nothing that its synonyms could not just as easily do.
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