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stagflation (stag-FLAY-shuhn) noun

Economic condition marked by lack of growth (stagnation) and persistent, substantial increase in prices (inflation).

[Blend of stagnation and inflation.]

"Policymakers are facing a serious dilemma in implementing economic policies, as signs of stagflation -- a deadly cocktail of stagnation and inflation -- loom over economy."
Signs of Stagflation Cloud Economy; The Korea Times (Seoul, South Korea); Apr 2, 2003.

"When this adjustment is allied to an over-accommodative monetary policy, it may result in a period of stagflation."
The Fed Takes a Dangerous Stance; Financial Times (London, UK); Jul 22, 2003.

This week's selection features words coined by fusing two separate words. What is unique about these words, as opposed to the words formed by simply placing two words next to each other, e.g. lovesick, is that the former are blended together in such a way that each participating word contributes a fragment of its whole, both in letters and in meaning to the new word. Such an amalgamated word is also known as a portmanteau (a bag with two compartments) since Lewis Carroll gave them this moniker in his 1872 classic "Through the Looking-Glass". Carroll himself coined some great portmanteaux, such as chortle (chuckle + snort), and slithy (slimy + lithe).

Many of these portmanteaux words are clunky (infotainment: information + entertainment) while others are fluid (smog: smoke + fog) but they all serve a purpose and that's why they stay in the language.



It is never the shallower for the calmnesse. The Sea is a deepe, there is as much water in the Sea, in a calme, as in a storme. -John Donne, poet (1573-1631)

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