financial "bubble"

Victor Steinbok aardvark66 at GMAIL.COM
Wed Aug 28 21:17:41 UTC 2013

Really nice work on the bubble ;-) But I have to ask--why "financial"?
You use "economic bubble" in the body until the "Update". That seems
more accurate, although there have been "bubbles" of quite different
nature (housing bubble and dotcom bubble are very different in nature).
It might be a bit of a recency effect, but I've been dating the current
use of "bubble" to Robert Reich's frequent references to "inflationary
bubble"--of course, he likely borrowed it from someone, but it served as
a vector to the press. Or I might be misremembering who was using the
phrase--old age catching up much too early.


On 8/28/2013 7:43 AM, Ben Zimmer wrote:
> My latest Wall St. Journal column (and Word Routes follow-up) is on
> "bubble" in the financial sense:
> Many sources give Jonathan Swift's "Bubble" poem (written Dec. 1720,
> published Jan. 1721) as the first cite. I traced it back a year
> earlier, to a Dec. 1719 item in Nathaniel Mist's Weekly Journal likely
> written by Daniel Defoe. Also, in an update to the Word Routes column,
> there's a 1700 cite for "speculative bubble" from Ned Ward that should
> probably also count, even though it's a couple of decades before the
> South Sea and Mississippi bubbles that Swift and Defoe wrote about.
> I spoke about the history of the term on WNYC's "Leonard Lopate Show" yesterday:
> --bgz

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