OLD Media Moves

Call it the Great Recession in stories

February 23, 2010

The latest version of the Associated Press Stylebook says that the economic downturn that began in December 2007 should be called the “Great Recession,” according to a story by Courtney Schlisserman of Bloomberg News.

Schlisserman writes, “The AP Stylebook Online notified subscribers this month it had added the term as a reference for the downturn that began in December 2007. The entry will also be in the printed edition of the Associated Press Stylebook when it is published later this year, along with ‘a couple of dozen other terms,’ said David Minthorn, manager of news administration and one of the manual’s three editors.

“The book, first published in 1953 and updated annually, is a mainstay in newsrooms and journalism classrooms. Sales of the book, which included new entries ranging from collateralized debt obligation to Twitter, totaled 50,000 in 2009, and there are some 24,000 paid users of the online edition.

“Inclusion of the Great Recession is ‘a starting point’ to making it the official name for this most recent period, said Grant Barrett, a dictionary editor and writer about language as well as co-host of the public radio show, ‘A Way With Words.’

“Barrett and some other lexicographers were skeptical about the timing of the inclusion, noting not only that the term has been used before for other economic downturns and also that even the Great Depression wasn’t widely used until years later. Still, they agreed this most recent period is deserving of additional recognition.”

Read more here.

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