Friday, November 23, 2012

"Significant" often confuses me

I just heard that Sony and Panasonic have had their credit ratings reduced to "junk" status. I was interested to know what that means.

Unfortunately the next sentence did not enlighten me. "That means there is a significant chance they will default on their debt repayments"

Unhelpful. But then it's only radio language.

And then perhaps the ratings agency had used a method that allows the use of the word "significant", such as

'we have examined a sample of Sony's loan remittances and from what we have seen we can confidently say they may default on their loan repayments'

Perhaps that's it. Actually, worded that way, that's probably what they meant.

But mostly when people say "significant" they seem to mean "substantial".

But I do spend a lot of time hearing people and thinking "I know what their words really mean, but I wonder if they know what they said?"

Quite often people say things that are more cleverer than they thought, but sometimes not. And I still don't know whether the Sony downgrade is the result of a method or an assessment.

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