econintersect.com
       
  

FREE NEWSLETTER: Econintersect sends a nightly newsletter highlighting news events of the day, and providing a summary of new articles posted on the website. Econintersect will not sell or pass your email address to others per our privacy policy. You can cancel this subscription at any time by selecting the unsubscribing link in the footer of each email.



posted on 21 May 2016

Historical Echoes: Echoes, Schmechoes, This Post Only Has A Drop Of History In It

from Liberty Street Economics

-- this post authored by Amy Farber

You might hear: "Economy eschmonomy." Another possibility is: "Economy schmeconomy." This phenomenon of repeating a word with the prefix shm- (or sometimes "schm-"), is called shm-reduplication. It challenges the relevance and sometimes the value of the repeated word, and examples can be found in articles like this Newsday clip "The High End: Economy, shmeconomy - the rich still travel."

Who cares about whether it's eschmonomy or schmeconomy? A pair of linguists from MIT and Harvard, that's who. This 2003 paper describes the authors' attempt to understand how the shm-reduplication works (the linguistic rules that govern its use) and how the researchers used interviews and questionnaires to investigate those rules. The authors also review the Yiddish origins of this usage (there are competing theories), provide a short section on the meaning of phrases that use the reduplication, and inform us that there is a relative lack of study of this form of reduplication (there are a few other forms).

Who loves shm-reduplication? The media; print, online, broadcast . . . you name it. It's a very compact linguistic device. A simple two-word phrase can convey a wealth of information about the author (or speaker), the audience, the object of the shm-reduplication, and the overall situation. "Economy eschmonomy" could mean the opposite of "it's the economy, stupid" - phrased differently: Never mind about the economy, this other thing (aliens from outer space, for example) is much more important. Or it could be a more personal statement: Forget about the economy, I'm going on a vacation (this comes up in an example below).

Some illustrative examples of shm-reduplication on the web:

Currency shmurrency In Barron's, columnist Alan Abelson says: "For even if Beijing were to up the value of the yuan by as much a 15% ... it wouldn't get our somnolent factories up and smoking again. The reason is simply that what our manufacturing workers earn in an hour, their counterparts in China earn in a week. Currency, shmurrency, no matter how hard and how smart our folks work, that gap is as ugly and daunting as it is yawning." (June 2005)

Interest rates, schminterest rates South African blogger, Piet Viljoen, says that interest rate fluctuations shouldn't affect your stock portfolio. (March 2009)

Income Schmincome In a brief post on NewRepublic.com, Martin Peretz pokes fun at the headline choices of several major papers in reporting President Obama's income. (April 2009)

Economy eschmonomy Jill Schensul, a writer on NorthJersey.com, relates that even though many other people she knows are foregoing vacations due to the uncertain economy, she refuses to. (October 2009)

Markets Schmarkets In a video clip, Professor Richard D. Wolff, a Marxian economist, makes an effort to get his audience laughing (although they're slow on the uptake). Wolff pretends that President Franklin Delano Roosevelt said "market schmarket" to the American people as he dismantled the existing "natural" market and issued ration cards in order to make sure that necessary resources were available for the war effort. (November 2011)

Stocks, shmocks On the public policy blog of the American Enterprise Institute, James Pethokoukis writes that "The US economy doesn't look like an economy anywhere near a recession." (October 2014)

Fed, schmed! On CNBC.com, Jeremy Siegel, a professor of finance at the Wharton School, suggests that even if the Fed raised rates, the effect on the stock market would not be bad. (June 2015)

Will you find the shm-reduplication device in formal speeches? Probably not, unless the speech takes place on the East Coast and the speaker wants to get the audience's attention. And probably not by Federal Reserve presidents and high level Fed staff. The "shm" is a bit dangerous, in that it can be perceived (or misperceived) as expressing a lack of respect.

However, there is one fine example of a speech by a Fed official who, because of the geographic location of the speech, felt the need, after using shm-reduplication, to then go on to explain the linguistic device (one wonders if that explanation was in the speaker's original notes or if he inserted it after perceiving incomprehension in the eyes of the audience members). The example is from a 2008 speech by Fred Mishkin, a former member of the Board of Governors. In the book In Fed We Trust, author David Wessel explains:

Mishkin thought of himself as entertaining - and sometimes was. Despite uneasiness among the Fed's public relations staff, he titled one speech "Comfort Zones, Shmumfort Zones," an uncomplimentary reference to an alternative to inflation targeting that called for the Fed to set a vague "comfort zone" for the acceptable level of inflation. "Putting the 'shm' before a word is a way to cast a bit of skepticism on it," he explained to a Lexington, Virginia, audience unaccustomed to Yiddish-spouting New Yorkers. "Thus, if your friend tells you that you are 'fancy, shmancy,' then you might be overdressed for the occasion ..."

Disclaimer

The views expressed in this post are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the position of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York or the Federal Reserve System. Any errors or omissions are the responsibility of the author.

Source

http://libertystreeteconomics.newyorkfed.org/2016/05/historical-echoes-echoes-schmechoes-this-post-only-has-a-drop-of-history-in-it.html#.VyyFB_krKUk


About the Author

Amy Farber is a research librarian in the Federal Reserve Bank of New York's Research and Statistics Group.

>>>>> Scroll down to view and make comments <<<<<<

Click here for Historical News Post Listing










Make a Comment

Econintersect wants your comments, data and opinion on the articles posted.  As the internet is a "war zone" of trolls, hackers and spammers - Econintersect must balance its defences against ease of commenting.  We have joined with Livefyre to manage our comment streams.

To comment, using Livefyre just click the "Sign In" button at the top-left corner of the comment box below. You can create a commenting account using your favorite social network such as Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn or Open ID - or open a Livefyre account using your email address.



You can also comment using Facebook directly using he comment block below.





Econintersect Contributors


search_box

Print this page or create a PDF file of this page
Print Friendly and PDF


The growing use of ad blocking software is creating a shortfall in covering our fixed expenses. Please consider a donation to Econintersect to allow continuing output of quality and balanced financial and economic news and analysis.


Take a look at what is going on inside of Econintersect.com
Main Home
Analysis Blog
Big Mess in Italy
Are You Feeling the Economic Surge?
News Blog
Early Headlines: Asia Stocks Up, Oil Down, GOP Healthcare, Trump Not Reagan Redux, EU Ending?, UK Lost Decade, Putin Taking Over Mid-East, Yuan 'Flash' Crash And More
December 5, 2016 Weather and Climate Report - December Update - Zonal Prevails
Irish Births And Baptisms Visualised
What Happens In The Smartphone Afterlife
Water Intoxication: Are We Drowning In Advice To Drink More Fluids?
The Worldwide Virtual Reality Market Is Set To Be Huge
Average Gasoline Prices for Week Ending 05 December 2016 Rose Over 5 Cents
What We Read Today 05 December 2016
Why We Have Different Blood Types
November 2016 Conference Board Employment Index Improved.
November 2016 ISM and Markit Services Index Mixed
Are All Collateralized Loan Obligations Equal?
A Third Of Homes Sold For The List Price Or More In August 2016
Investing Blog
Momentum Issues A Warning
The Great Bond Crash Of 2016: 05 December Update
Opinion Blog
The Shale-War Is Over
Fake Science
Precious Metals Blog
Silver Prices Rebounded Today: Where They Are Headed
Live Markets
05Dec2016 Market Close: US Markets Close Higher, WTI Crude Settles At $51.09, US Dollar Drops Below 100 Temporally
Amazon Books & More






.... and keep up with economic news using our dynamic economic newspapers with the largest international coverage on the internet
Asia / Pacific
Europe
Middle East / Africa
Americas
USA Government



Crowdfunding ....






























 navigate econintersect.com

Blogs

Analysis Blog
News Blog
Investing Blog
Opinion Blog
Precious Metals Blog
Markets Blog
Video of the Day
Weather

Newspapers

Asia / Pacific
Europe
Middle East / Africa
Americas
USA Government
     

RSS Feeds / Social Media

Combined Econintersect Feed
Google+
Facebook
Twitter
Digg

Free Newsletter

Marketplace - Books & More

Economic Forecast

Content Contribution

Contact

About

  Top Economics Site

Investing.com Contributor TalkMarkets Contributor Finance Blogs Free PageRank Checker Active Search Results Google+

This Web Page by Steven Hansen ---- Copyright 2010 - 2016 Econintersect LLC - all rights reserved