Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Today's Market Lesson: Grammar Matters

Get those tenses right people.*
From ZeroHedge:
"In Absurd Fiasco, Entire Market Spike Was Due To A CNBC Grammatical Mistake"

Update (1000ET): Both the Yuan and US equities have erased the gains from this farcical grammatical error...
*  *  *

The farce that is this "market" just took a whole new turn for the surreal.

As we reported earlier, the reason why stocks surged just after 5am EDT is because of a CNBC headline, according to which the US Treasury Secretary said that a US-China trade deal "is" - present tense - 90% complete: a clear indication that a trade deal with China is once again a possibility.
This was quickly propagated by Bloomberg...

... which triggered a flurry of algo buying.
Doubling down, CNBC also tweeted as much saying in a (since deleted) tweet that:
"Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin says a U.S.-China trade deal is "about 90% of the way there.""
The problem: CNBC made a huge grammatical mistake, because instead of saying "is", Mnuchin was actually using the past tense, and what he really said - for those who listened to the video - is that "we were about 90% of the way’ on China trade deal.
*Previously in pluperfects:
Dec. 2016
[Eugene Volokh] The Ghost of Christmas Future Imperfect + seafood
I'm pretty sure David Keohane had this (Language Log) at Alphaville but without the seafood course.
Mark Liberman (Language Log) collects three funny cartoons on this theme. Of course, and unrelated to Christmas, this reminds me of the classic joke:
A man is on his first visit to Boston, and he wants to try some of that delicious New England seafood that he’d long heard about. So he gets into a cab, and asks the driver, “Can you take me to where I can get scrod?”

The driver replies, “I’ve heard that question a thousand time, but never in the pluperfect subjunctive.
Dec. 28, 2015
UPDATED--"State Department Lists 'Bringing Peace, Security to Syria' Among Top 2015 Accomplishments
Cool, peace in our time, I can roll with that....
It's all in the conjugation! You have your Present participle - bringing vs your Past participle - brought.
And the whole present (continuous) progressive tense and the gerund and you can see where I jumped to conclusions can't you?

From The Hill's blog briefing room:

State Department defends naming 'bringing peace' to Syria as 2015 win
The State Department is defending naming "bringing peace" to Syria as one of its 2015 accomplishments.
The claim was made in a Dec. 24 blog post written by John Kirby, the assistant secretary of State for the bureau of public affairs....