[Ads-l] "the levy's going to break"

Fri Jul 10 00:59:53 UTC 2015

As a financial professional in my day job, I don't see anything special in this usage; I think "levy" here is just a misspelling of "levee," which is essentially the same thing as a dike, although levees in the popular imagination are found on the Mississippi River and are more associated with breaking.  Note that this careless writer also refers to "dam[ming] the dike," when he means to dam the flood or to fix or plug the dike.

John Baker

-----Original Message-----
From: American Dialect Society [mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] On Behalf Of Joel Berson
Sent: Thursday, July 09, 2015 8:01 PM
Subject: "the levy's going to break"

"What's happening in China is a mirror image of past crashes elsewhere—right down to regulatory bodies (China's Securities Regulatory Commission and the China Securities Finance Corp.) stepping in to purchase blue chips and small-cap stocks in an effort to bolster morale and dam the dike. Typically, when the government moves in as a buyer of last resort, one wishes one had already left the resort … and when one resorts to plugging the dike, you'd better be heading for the hills, since that's code for "the levy's going to break"."

From an investment adviser's on-line weekly report.

I am not in enough to know whether "levy" as financial argot might be meaningful here.  (Although I enjoyed the pun on "resort".)


The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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