Saturday, July 08, 2017

A Word about Warning

Warnings about Brexit recession were wrong

It behoves those of us who try to write from time to time to be very careful criticising misuse of language for we can be very sure we will be the next to be guilty. On the basis that when I err I try really hard to take it on the chin, permit me a grumble.

Here's a bit of dialogue:

Dad: If you don't look both ways before you cross the road you'll get knocked down by a car.

(three years later)

Dad: Hello son. You haven't been knocked down by a car. I see my warning was wrong.

Now. Can we all pick some holes in that please. Good. The son was not incredibly lucky. Nor was the warning wrong. More than likely a change in behaviour prevented the thing being warned about from happening.

A prediction can be proved wrong. A prophecy (if time limited) can be judged false. A warning is designed to change behaviour so as to avoid the thing that might happen. It isn't wrong if it works.

Few warnings about Brexit recession were couched in a time-frame. It is possible, maybe even likely, that important people have taken action to adjust economic behaviour in order to avoid recession.

So the warnings weren't wrong.

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