Can we have some precision, please?

With journalism undergoing an existential crisis, is it too much to expect some precision of language? Over the last few weeks, journalists have found themselves unable to dial apocalyptic language up to 11. If you call a 100-point drop “turmoil and panic”, what do you call daily drops of 300 or more? But my particular bete noire is the inability to discuss growth or restriction precisely. Take this example:

Yet more research out today shows UK digital ad spend is slowing – despite its overall share of the media pie continuing to grow. In fact, IPA’s Bellwether found growth was not just slower but flat during Q3 – far behind previous quarters and the weakest growth in seven years.

Q3 Web Ad Spend Stagnant; Weakest Growth In Seven Years: Bellwether | paidContent:UK.

Now, look: if growth is slowing, it means there’s still growth. But “digital ad spend is slowing” means the actual amount spent is shrinking. So which is it? Can we have some precision please?

(And yes, I know I’ve ended a barren posting period with a non-specific, cheap-shot rant, but I’ve got a tooth-ache).

4 thoughts on “Can we have some precision, please?

  1. Robert: well, duh. A “simple missing word” is my entire point.

    And Nik, you’re right. Growth can slow.

    And while we’re on it, is “spend” even allowed? Surely it’s “spending”?


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