11 Mar 2011

Headline/Content Mismatch?

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Someone on Facebook linked to this article with the headline, “Argentina bans inflation from official jargon.” But if you click on it, you notice two things:

(1) It is horribly written. Presumably it is a translation?

(2) After a second reading, I still don’t see anything in the article that directly supports the headline. There are references to synonyms for “inflation,” but it doesn’t actually say that the government bans use of the term. Can anyone else find it?

10 Responses to “Headline/Content Mismatch?”

  1. Jonah says:

    The reality is that government officials are instructed to avoid using the word “inflation”, they usually refer to “price distortion” or other euphemisms, thus blaming businessmen for the rise in prices.
    Also, Guillermo Moreno, the well-known Undersecretary of Commerce, has fined some economists for spreading the real data about the inflation rate.

  2. bobmurphy says:

    OK I believe it is happening, but you wouldn’t know that from this news story, right?

  3. Jonathan M. F. Catalán says:

    I think what the article is saying that inflation has been replaced by the government with “price distortion” to make it seem less of a problem. I don’t think they mean ‘ban’ in the sense that we’re interpreting it.

    • bobmurphy says:

      OK right, that’s possible, but even so, you wouldn’t know that from the article. It doesn’t say “inflation has been replaced by the government with ‘price distortion'” right? We are just filling in the blanks. If it weren’t for the headline, we wouldn’t even be thinking that.

      • Jonathan M. F. Catalán says:

        Well, actually, my interpretation comes directly from the article. The article is poorly written; it doesn’t have an obvious thesis statement. But, the article constantly refers to these “price distortions” in quotations, instead of inflation. I think its point is exactly that: the Argentine government is using the term “price distortion” instead of “inflation”.

  4. Avram says:

    “There are references to synonyms for inflation”

    They are taking the ban very seriously.

  5. Jonah says:

    I never heard of this news agency, it seems to be a tiny obscure agency. Not reliable at all.

  6. Desolation Jones says:

    They probably just mean it’s new administration policy to stop using the word inflation. Not necessarily banned. Sort of like using enhanced interrogation instead of torture.

  7. Ricardo Cruz says:

    I thought the last paragraph was pretty hilarious:

    However pollsters had to increase the number of interviews from 10.000 to 15.000 because they only managed to get answers from 1.000. The rest could not care less about elections or `polling interviews.

  8. Art says:

    As Jonathan said, I don’t think they literally mean “ban”, but they are just banishing the term from official use. I agree that it is not easy to conclude that from the poorly written article. But, I did find an interesting article related to this that talks about a new law that does in fact prohibit the publication of inflation numbers that are higher than the official CPI… Check out the Orwellian tone of this (my translation):

    The Commerce Department in Argentina is fining several consulting firms under the “Commercial Loyalty Statute”. Under the statute, firms are prohibited from any sort of presentation, publication, or marketing that, through inexactitude or concealment, may induce people to error, deceit, or confusion with respect to (among other things) the price of goods, property, and services.

    Not surprisingly, the news is attributed to the State Information Agency…