Some in the media are unwilling to call the precipitous stock drop last week a "crash". They fear this might cause panic and induce that thing which has already happened but shall not be mentioned. Like the "Knights Who Say 'Ni'", we must avoid "that word".
Speaking of Monty Python, you probably recall their famous bit about a crashed stock market:
A CUSTOMER ENTERS THE STOCK MARKET
Mr. Praline: 'Ello, I wish to register a complaint.
Broker: We're closin' for recession.
Mr. Praline: Never mind that, my lad. I wish to complain about these stocks what I purchased not half an hour ago from this very boutique.
Broker: Oh yes, the, uh, the Dow Jones Industrials average...What's,uh...What's wrong with it?
Mr. Praline: I'll tell you what's wrong with it, my lad. It’s crashed, that's what's wrong with it!
Broker: No, no, it's uh,...it's resting.
Mr. Praline: Look, matey, I know a crashed market when I see one, and I'm looking at one right now.
Broker: No no it's not crashed, it’s, it’s restin'! Remarkable index, the Dow Jones, idn'it, ay? Beautiful price weighting!
Mr. Praline: The price weighting don't enter into it. It's stone crashed.
Broker: Nononono, no, no! 'It's resting!
Mr. Praline: All right then, if it’s restin', I'll spike it up! (shouting at the cage) 'Ello, Mister Dow Jones! I've got a lovely fresh cut interest rates for you if you show...
(Broker completes a short sale)
Broker: There, it moved up!
Mr. Praline: No, it didn't, that was you profiting on a price drop!
Broker: I never!!
Mr. Praline: Yes, you did!
Broker: I never, never did anything...
Mr. Praline: (yelling and hitting the stock ticker repeatedly) 'ELLO DOW!!!!! Testing! Testing! Testing! Testing! This is your 1929 alarm call!
(Brings market graphs up on computer and watches prices plummet.)
Mr. Praline: Now that's what I call a market crash.
Broker: No, no.....No, it's a sell-off!
Mr. Praline: SELL-OFF?!?
Broker: Yeah! You sold the stocks, just as they was goin' up! Dow Jones indices sell-off easily, major.
Mr. Praline: Um...now look...now look, mate, I've definitely 'ad enough of this. That stock market definitely crashed, and when I purchased it not 'alf an hour ago, you assured me that its total lack of movement was due to it bein' tired and shagged out following a prolonged banking boo boo.
Broker: Well, it’s...it’s, ah...probably pining for the tech bubble.
Mr. Praline: PININ' for the TECH BUBBLE?!?!?!? What kind of talk is that?, look, why did it fall flat on the 8000’s the moment I got it home?
Broker: The Dow Jones prefers it’s ups and downs! Remarkable index, id'nit, squire? Lovely price weighting!
Mr. Praline: Look, I took the liberty of examining that market when I got it home, and I discovered the only reason that it had been sitting over 10,000 in the first place was that it had been bailed out.
Broker: Well, o'course it was there! If the government hadn't bailed out some of the brokers, it would have gone VOOM! Feeweeweewee!
Mr. Praline: "VOOM"?!? Mate, this market wouldn't "voom" if you put 700 billion volts through it! It's bleedin' crashed!
Broker: No no! It’s pining!
Mr. Praline: It’s not pinin'! It’s passed on! This market is no more! It has ceased to be! It’s expired and gone to meet it's broker! It’s a stiff! Bereft of life, it rests in peace! If the government hadn't bailed it out it’d be pushing up the daisies! It's economic processes are now 'istory! It’s off the market! It’s kicked the bucket, It’s shuffled off it's financial coil, run down the ticker and joined the bleedin' choir uninvestible!! THIS IS A CRASHED MARKET!!
Broker: Well, I'd better replace it, then. (he takes a quick peek behind the counter) Sorry squire, I've had a look 'round the back of the shop, and uh, we're right out of healthy indexes
Mr. Praline: I see. I see, I get the picture.
Broker: I got a slug.
Mr. Praline: Pray, is it profitable?
Broker: Nnnnot really.
Mr. Praline: WELL IT'S HARDLY A BLOODY REPLACEMENT, IS IT?!!???!!?
Broker: N-no, I guess not. (gets ashamed, looks at his feet)
Mr. Praline: Well.
Broker: (quietly) D'you.... d'you want to do some dollar cost averaging?
Mr. Praline: (looks around) Yeah, all right, sure.