May I have a word about … how headline hyperbole has taken an explosive turn

·2 min read
<span>Photograph: Toby Melville/Reuters</span>
Photograph: Toby Melville/Reuters

When exactly did we become a nation of hyperbolic pyrotechnicians? I only ask because I can’t help noticing the glut of headlines featuring the word “skyrocket”.

“Taste of things to come as food prices skyrocket” was just one example last weekend. Then there was, “Referral bonuses skyrocket as staff shortages rise”, “Used Tesla Prices Skyrocket, Selling For Huge Premium Over New Models”, “Burton jewellery firm started in leaky garden shed sees sales skyrocket”, “Energy bills set to skyrocket to £2,800 in the autumn for millions, MPs told”.

You get the picture, but I’m sure in the good old days, things just used to rocket without the addition of “sky”, so if we could cut the near hysteria and return to the status quo ante I’d be most grateful. I tripped over the following in a business section recently – the “dynamic stochastic general equilibrium” model. You might well ask.

It goes like this: “Dynamic stochastic general equilibrium modelling is a macroeconomic method which is often employed by monetary and fiscal authorities for policy analysis, explaining historical time-series data, as well as future forecasting purposes.”

I’m the first to admit that economics is another country as far as I’m concerned and with examples such as this one being bandied about is likely to remain so for quite some time.

It was also reported recently that, according to Andy Haldane, former head of the government’s levelling-up taskforce, mathematics sounds “academic and scary” and should be rebranded as numeracy.

Couldn’t we split the difference and call the subject sums, as it was in the dim and distant past of my school years?

Finally, a welcome return for that ridiculous word “community”.

The following is from British Canoeing: “We want to create a consistent set of words that can be used all over that can inform the paddling community about our behaviour, environmental protection and safety.”

• Jonathan Bouquet is an Observer columnist

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting