Crisis talk

In the NYT on the 26th, the story “A Continent Mired in Crisis Coins a Language of Economic Pain” by Raphael Minder, which begins:

MADRID — The Portuguese have a new word, “grandolar,” which grew out of the euro crisis and means “to subject a government minister to a singing protest using a revolutionary hymn.” But now, after three years of austerity, even Portuguese children “grandolate” their parents if they do not want to take a bath.

Well, not a whole language, but a vocabulary in the economic domain.

More from the story:

Crisis slang has even been embraced by those at the top layers of government and society. Seeking to allay concerns that Spain, like Greece, would need an international bailout, Cristóbal Montoro, Spain’s budget minister, promised nervous Spaniards last year that “los hombres de negro” — or the men in black, as the European Union officials have become known — would not be arriving.

Then material on revisions in various dictionaries to accommodate the vocabulary of crisis. And my favorite part:

Europe’s crisis has gone on so long that it is defining a generation, which has been given names like the “Ni-Nis” in Spain for the legions of young people who are neither studying nor working. Or the “geração à rasca” (distressed generation), as they are called in Portugal.

Then a section on names for types of protests and protesters. And in conclusion:

The one word that nearly everyone across Europe shares is “troika,” referring to the three international creditors — the International Monetary Fund, the European Central Bank and the European Commission — that hard-pressed citizens from Lisbon to Athens blame for their troubles.

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