Monday, August 1, 2011

WHAT kind of day was it?*

I was doing a quick scan of the news online this evening when I came across this headline:

I had to click on the story, of course, just to see what the writer of this article thought constituted a "schizophrenic day" for stocks.

I know what a schizophrenic day looks like for people. I am intimately acquainted with them. M was diagnosed with schizophrenia almost 10 years ago. Which means I have approximately 3,600 "schizophrenic days" under my belt. I figure by now I'm an expert on the subject.

So as I clicked on the article I wondered what I would find...

Were the stocks delusional... believing perhaps that the U.S. and world economies were strong again or even just back somehow to where they were 11 years ago, and had started charging upwards in a bull market?

Perhaps the stocks were apathetic... not having the energy to go either up or down. Just stuck in one place with no energy or motivation to move at all.

Or were the stocks hallucinating... hearing voices trading them here and there, or telling them that they were worthless... that no one would ever want to buy them... they were good for nothing... and the bottom had dropped out of the market anyway?

Maybe the stocks were paranoid...frozen in fear or wild with panic, believing, irrationally, that their very existence was in grave danger... their value was draining away and they would be nothing but a painful memory by the end of the day.

Perhaps the stock's "schizophrenic day" involved bits and pieces of all these things, like M's "schizophrenic days" do.

But no... apparently the writer really had no idea of what a schizophrenic day looks like. He used the term as a quick (but inaccurate) way of describing a day in which the stocks went up and down. The article describes the stocks as taking a "wild ride"...

Hmmm... yes schizophrenia can be a wild ride... but in the interests of accuracy I think the headline would be more fitting if it read:
Stocks: A Bi-Polar Disorder Day

(*One of my pet peeves... referring to something as "schizophrenic" in a casual or inaccurate or disrespectful way. It's not like there is a shortage of perfectly good adjectives or anything... )

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