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22 Aug, 2019 14:43

Say what? Top Indian banker baffles audience with ‘floccinaucinihilipilification’ mention in speech

Say what? Top Indian banker baffles audience with ‘floccinaucinihilipilification’ mention in speech

India’s central bank may be trying to maneuver its way out of an economic slowdown, but their bizarre use of 18th century lingo has bankers scratching their heads and reaching for a dictionary.

Chetan Ghate of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) made a speech at a recent members meeting in which he said“estimates of economic growth in India have unfortunately been subject to a fair degree of floccinaucinihilipilification. Notwithstanding this, growth is likely to pick up.” 

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As it happens, floccinaucinihilipilification is, in fact, an actual word. It means the action or habit of estimating something as worthless. Although, possibly thanks to its perplexing length and spelling, it doesn’t appear to have withstood the Latin language decline after the 18th century. 

Not yet impressed with the extent of their flowery vocabulary, Governor Shaktikanta Das then proceeded to address members with his speech on the state of the economy, and was quoted as saying: “I am not saying we maintain a Panglossian countenance and smile away every difficulty.”

Panglossian, for those of us unfamiliar with the term, means being either naively or unreasonably optimistic. 

India has one of the largest economies in the world, but corruption and violence have cost the state dearly – an estimated $1 trillion in 2017 alone. After an already slow start to the year, financial projections say economic growth is set to decline yet again in the second quarter. 

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