Grexit – A Eurozone Language Crisis

If things were not bad enough for countries across Europe because of the ongoing economic crisis, they have just got a great deal worse thanks to the spawning of a particularly ugly new word.

Commentators around the globe now have a term to encapsulate the possibility of Greece exiting the Euro – they have called it a Grexit.

Apart from saving headline space for stressed sub-editors, it is hard to see what other function this word serves. It’s not pleasing on the ear, it takes a couple of seconds to work out what it actually means, and it’s frankly unnecessary – Greek Exit is hardly a term that was crying out to be shortened.

It is also not a word that can really be extended – if Spain or Portugal were to consider withdrawal, Spexit or Pexit just don’t cut it. But despite all of this, I expect it to become heavily used, while its prominence in the news cycle makes it likely to feature in many ‘Words of the Year’ lists.

The people I feel really sorry for are online webmail company Grexit, whose operation may now forever be tarnished by association with an economic crisis of which they are not a part. I do hope not. There are many casualties of the economic problems engulfing Europe at the moment. It would be a shame if a piece of linguistic nonsense claimed another.

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6 responses to “Grexit – A Eurozone Language Crisis

  1. writtencommunications

    While trying to halt language change reminds me of the English kind who tried to convince the tide not to come, I somehow don’t think that Grexit will have a long life. As you wrote, it’s an ugly word and its relevance will be short, as well.

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