From “on” to “by”

I am interested in how people use subtle cues in their word choices to describe the current financial/economic crises.  Notice that some words define the fault lines, and show exactly where the line between “us” and “them” lies for a particular observer.  These lines are the ones across which conflicts will occur in the new post-crises political/social/economic landscape.

There’s a curious, but very natural, progression of the vocabulary used to describe the current economic crises. Notice expecially the use of prepositions, and the use of the passive voice to describe things.  For starters,  from Reuters, here’s a quote showing the use of prepositions to define “us” and “them” (if damage is inflicted on A by B, there’s a dividing line being drawn between those two arenas):

“I sense we’ve moved beyond the credit crisis. There’s a recognition of the damage inflicted on the global economy … by the credit crisis,” said Mike Lenhoff, chief strategist at Brewin Dolphin Securities in London.”

Someone could just as well speak of the damage inflicted on the local economy by the global economy, though, right?

Got to love this quote from Wen Jiabao, who obviously didn’t get the memo that the banks and the hedge fund managers, as the primary beneficiaries of the bailouts, are the ‘real’ economy to the political leaders of the West. (found at: Reuters):

“We must use every means to prevent the financial crisis impacting growth of the real economy,” Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao said at the end of a two-day summit of 43 Asian and European leaders in Beijing.

(Wen, I think you are a little late….)

From “on” to “by”

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