John Detrixhe and John Keefe of Quartz examine the most common words used to describe the stock market drop this week.
Detrixhe and Keefe write, “That’s where ‘biggest’ comes in. It has been by far the most favored superlative in news stories about the stock market, followed at some distance by the words ‘largest’ and ‘worst.’
“Quartz compiled data from 119 stories containing the phrase ‘stock market’ from a set of nearly 2,400 articles downloaded Sunday and Monday by researchers at the University of California at Berkeley’s Newslens project. We picked out the superlatives using a natural language model called spaCy that recognizes parts of speech.
“The data shows that superlatives like ‘darkest’ and ‘holiest’ have been much less popular. And as the spread of Covid-19 disrupts supply chains, causes worker shortages, and threatens to tip economies into recession, ‘safety’ has been in short supply. So much so that the word was only used once—by the New York Times to describe US Treasury bonds:
The safest assets out there — bonds issued by the U.S. government — have shot higher in price. For the first time, the interest rates on 10-year Treasury note shriveled this week to less than 1 percent, falling on Friday to a record low of 0.71 percent.
Read more here.