Friday, July 07, 2006

Is 'nuance' the word you're looking for?

Mark Thoma isn't convinced that Richard Rahn is on to something with his Commentary piece on the importance of language in economics:

What nonsense. It's also funny that he thinks nobody can use a word in France and elsewhere until it's officially approved. If a researcher in France reads a new word in a science journal on the internet, I guess they have to close their brains until the word is approved.

I think it would be safe to say that I'm not convinced by these arguments.

But, the Government of France (the guys who fined Georges DuBouef for improving his wine, ha ha) apparently agree:

France hopes to soften hostile attitudes towards capitalism by promoting financial know-how and greater enterprise through the media.

A new body will try to boost financial literacy and communicate the benefits of wealth creation more effectively.

The rejection of an unpopular labour contract earlier this year is seen to have reinforced prevailing sceptical attitudes toward business in society.

Ministers want people to get a clearer understanding of France's economy.

....They are worried about what they see as an over-reliance on the state and a lack of entrepreneurial dynamism.

The Council for the Diffusion of Economic Culture will operate under the auspices of the finance ministry when it launches later this year.

.... A survey earlier this year revealed widespread ignorance of financial terminology including the meaning of issues such as debt and output.

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