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מפרסם התגובה: Mervyn Henderson

Mervyn Henderson  Identity Verified
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@Lingua 5B Apr 21

Yes, it's people from here all right, and what they say is "economista". If they want to tell me they're accountants, they can say "contable" and not "economista". But I'm concluding that it's simply a ploy to ramp up a profession regarded as boring, in the same way as translators might call themselves linguistic consultants, or people emptying bins for the local council might call themselves waste control officers.

When I’m asked what I do, I say I’m a surgeon first. You might
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Yes, it's people from here all right, and what they say is "economista". If they want to tell me they're accountants, they can say "contable" and not "economista". But I'm concluding that it's simply a ploy to ramp up a profession regarded as boring, in the same way as translators might call themselves linguistic consultants, or people emptying bins for the local council might call themselves waste control officers.

When I’m asked what I do, I say I’m a surgeon first. You might as well try it on, right? See the awe spread over their faces as they realise they are in the presence of a man with rock-steady Hands that Heal, a man with Power over Life and Death, a man who Repairs the Torn, Broken Chassis of Human Beings. To give you an idea of the effect this can have, I was at a dinner party where one of the guests was a successful surgeon, and the host was carving up the roast beef, with a jocular running commentary of “What do you think of my technique, John?”; “Steady and precise, John, that’s what it’s all about, right?”; "Clean, precise cuts, John, that's the way to go, eh?" etc. When he’d finished, and a dozen or so slices of meat lay on the platter, he beamed at this chap and said: “So what do you think, John? I’d make a pretty good surgeon, wouldn’t I?” And the surgeon nodded and said: “You did that really well, Fred, you certainly did. Now let’s see you put it all back together again.”

Beat that. You can just see John issuing his orders, gruffly but calmly, to the rest of the team, bending over his incisions as the nurse wipes his noble brow, and someone quavers: "He's not responding, John. We're losing him, he's going", and he looks up and says, "We’re not losing anybody, and he's not going anywhere. Now hand me that scalpel."

If that’s as far as it goes, all well and good. But sometimes it doesn’t. I had just passed myself off as a surgeon to a lady at a cocktail party, but then she started in with the awkward questions:


“So which hospital do you work at, then?” she asked, sipping her Krug all smokily. Not smoky or a smoking lady in the foxy sense, I mean. She just happened to be smoking a big cheroot, and there was smoke all round her. Not smoky in the other sense at all, in fact. She did look a bit like Elizabeth Taylor. But I mean Elizabeth Taylor in the present day.

“Oh, not a medical surgeon, no,” I replied, “I am a word surgeon, madam.”

She slowly blew some smoke out of the side of her mouth and fluttered her eyelashes, getting a little smoky in the other sense. Along with the actual smoke she was blowing out, I mean.

“And what does a word surgeon do, exactly?”, she purred. It was an odd kind of purr, but a purr nonetheless, albeit a purr that had evidently become much croakier over the years. Croakier and smokier. With smokier understood as at the beginning, smokier from excess tobacco. But perhaps we should get on …

“It’s simple. I deal in words”, I informed her, airily. “Some people have a truckload of words to convey, and there’s another truckload of people they want to read those words, to convince them of something or other. They give me the words, and I simply operate on them. I avail myself of my linguistic scalpel and forceps to execute precise cuts and grafts with these words, if you will. I put one in, I take one out, in, out, shake it all about, and that’s what it’s all about. The words I end up with are basically the same, though different, because the words themselves have changed, and now they mean something to different people. Essentially what I do is help the first set of people persuade the other people to give, to take, to come, to go, to laugh, to cry, to cheer, to boo, to buy, to sell, to invest, to divest, to love, to loathe, to vote for or vote against, to be or not to be. That is the question. I hope I’ve made myself clear.”

“I think so,” she said, “you must be a spin doctor, a politician, maybe a government spokesman, something like that?”

“Madam”, was my stiff retort. “I am a linguistic consultant.” And, because I could see she was gearing up to ask what that was too, I finally had to come out with it: “I’m a commercial translator, see. Mostly financial-technical.”

I could see her lip curling already. Probably as the prelude to an attempt to squeeze out from under two or three millimetres of lipstick and scuttle off her face, but all she said was:

“Most interesting, I’m sure. Do excuse me.”

See what I mean? No respect. But translation’s all I’ve got and I’m stuck with it, so I have to just carry on as best I can.
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Chris S
Beatriz Ramírez de Haro
 

Chris S  Identity Verified
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Economising Apr 21

Mervyn Henderson wrote:
Does anyone else know an "economist" who works at whatever an economist does at a company?

Are you really looking for a sensible linguistic discussion?

It's true, "economists" normally work for governments and banks, whereas number-crunchers at companies normally work "in finance".

I think it's just a peculiarity of English that we normally only use economy to mean the macroeconomy.

In Scandiwegian, what we call "finance", they call "økonomi".

Maybe it's a bit like that translator/interpreter thing, where we're the only ones who know the difference or give a monkey's.


Mervyn Henderson
 

Mervyn Henderson  Identity Verified
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In finance Apr 21

That's precisely my point. For me, the word economist always conjures up the macroeconomy, but I just can't see Fred Bloggs Economist sitting at his desk at ABC Steelmakers working out GDP and rounds of quantitative squeezing.

But come to think of it, Chris, that's another thing they say, "Oh, I work in finance." Right.

But to answer your initial question, No, I'm not! As if!!



[Edited at 2020-04-21 09:47 GMT]


 

Lingua 5B  Identity Verified
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Precisely, was just thinking the same thing. Apr 21

Chris S wrote:
I think it's just a peculiarity of English that we normally only use economy to mean the macroeconomy.


Yes, it’s the same difference in my language like that in Spanish and Scandinavian languages, which is why I immediately recognized Mervyn’s confusion.

Over here, at Economics and Business University department, “macroeconomy” is just one subject of small span in the curriculum to which no special attention given. Most of those graduate “economists” end up working at jobs that look more like accountant jobs (according to Anglosaxon standards) and never deal with macroeconomy much, unless they specialize in Finance (which is a separate branch).

@Mervyn, what about a cleaning lady calling herself a sanitary engineer?

[Edited at 2020-04-21 10:02 GMT]


Mervyn Henderson
 

Mervyn Henderson  Identity Verified
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Sanitary engineer Apr 21

Of course! And the degendering would also placate the politically correct/non-sexist/MeToo crowd, because of all those "cleaning gentlemen" out there too. Mm, cleaning gentlemen. Now there's a term.

 

Lingua 5B  Identity Verified
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Agree, it’s sexist, where are the cleaning gentlemen? Apr 21

Mervyn Henderson wrote:

Of course! And the degendering would also placate the politically correct/non-sexist/MeToo crowd, because of all those "cleaning gentlemen" out there too. Mm, cleaning gentlemen. Now there's a term.


Her boss is probably a man, the owner of the sanitary engineering firm? They must be working at full capacity during these Corona times and are pretty exposed, Kudos to them.


 

Chris S  Identity Verified
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From confused.com to staedtler.com Apr 21

Lingua 5B wrote:
I immediately recognized Mervyn’s confusion.

I very much doubt that Mervyn is confused. He's just pondering the imponderables and asking the questions that should never be asked. Or answered.

Here, perhaps, is another:

Is 5B the grade of pencil you used before typewriters arrived in Yugoslavia?


 

Mervyn Henderson  Identity Verified
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@Chris Apr 21

You're better than that, Chris.

 

Lingua 5B  Identity Verified
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Questions are here to be asked, and answered. Apr 21

Chris S wrote:

Lingua 5B wrote:
I immediately recognized Mervyn’s confusion.

I very much doubt that Mervyn is confused. He's just pondering the imponderables and asking the questions that should never be asked. Or answered.

Here, perhaps, is another:

Is 5B the grade of pencil you used before typewriters arrived in Yugoslavia?


Is this also a question that should never be asked or answered?

If I tell you what 5B means, I will have to get rid of you or send you a Corona bug by post mail, to Wales.


Chris S
 

Lingua 5B  Identity Verified
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He just gets carried away. Apr 21

Mervyn Henderson wrote:

You're better than that, Chris.


No, he is not LOL


Chris S
 

Mervyn Henderson  Identity Verified
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Carried away Apr 21

I suppose so. Hope so. But he isn't like that.

 

Milan Condak  Identity Verified
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Software for reading, listening and MT Apr 21

Andrew Morris wrote:

As for yng Nghymru



http://www.condak.cz/nove/2020-04/19/cs/08.html

There is a software for reading, listening and MT.

Milan


 

RobinB  Identity Verified
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For the record... Apr 21

Mervyn Henderson wrote: Either the models are changing and companies really do have "economists" now, or what they really mean is that they're accountants, but economist sounds miles better. I just can't see that name plate on the door saying "Mr Fred Bloggs - Economist", but I could go with "Mr Fred Bloggs - Accountant". Evidently a better class of name would help. "Mr. Aloysius Q. Ravensdale - Economist".

Am I wrong? Does anyone else know an "economist" who works at whatever an economist does at a company?


Many large corporations do indeed employ economists, and I have met a couple of them. They do their own macroeconomic modelling so the company isn't dependent on outside economic forecasts, but they also model the impact of potential economic trends on the company's own products and services, producing both sectoral and geographic/regional models at a level of granularity that would be difficult to outsource. Even some smaller companies employ economists, depending on their industry - for example, oil and gas.

On the subject of oil and gas, the price of West Texas Intermediate did indeed turn negative on the public markets. What happened is that the local spot price was already in negative territory, meaning that producers here in Texas are paying others to take oil off their hands. An empty oil barrel is worth more than a full barrel of oil. That's because many producers have carried on producing at full or near-to-full capacity, and available storage capacity is filling up, quickly. Also, much of the free capacity has already been booked, so there are producers with oil on their hands and nowhere to store it.

As a result, the futures price started converging with the spot price because traders holding contracts for May delivery realised they would have nowhere to store the oil they had contracted to buy. The price for June delivery is still holding firm at over $20 a barrel, but it's beginning to look vulnerable in light of May prices that at times reached minus $40 a barrel.

Yes, at some point oil prices will likely start to recover, slowly, as economies reopen, but it's not just the virus that's causing the dramatic slump in oil prices: you might recall the price war between Russia and Saudi Arabia. That still hasn't been satisfactorily resolved, and the glut of oil on the markets means that even production cuts could take many months to have any real effect on oil prices. Air travel hasn't ground to a halt during the pandemic, of course, with somewhere between 20 and 25% of flights still operating. But nobody knows what the air travel industry is going to look like once the present crisis has subsided. There are likely to be fewer airlines, operating smaller fleets.

So many scenarios are possible, ranging from significant passenger reluctance to fly, down to a surge in demand as people rediscover their love of flying and go back to borrowing money they can't afford to repay. We just don't know. One thing we can be sure of, though, is that the "new normal" is going to be significantly different to the "old normal" in many ways. But we just don't know which ways. Maybe things will calm down once effective vaccines become widely available, for example with air travel (or maybe any travel) restricted to passengers with a valid vaccination certificate or an official medical waiver certificate. Which would drive the antivaxxers crazy, of course, but that would be a positive side-effect


Brian Joyce
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