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Inflation- A Lexical Concept

here is as good a time as any to revisit a hypothesis I first laid out a few many years ago, obviously in a column for The Guardian. back then, inflation became running at a brisk tempo that no one dared point out for concern of being charged with a criminal offense in opposition t country wide security or banished to Gashua, within the faraway Northeast of Nigeria, the unlikeliest candidate then for host to a federal institution. Ask the venerable Professor TS David-West.

but the price of inflation couldn’t were lessen than what obtains nowadays – 18. 5 per cent, absolutely understated. The “settlement subculture” become flourishing as never earlier than, primarily within the wake of the “June 12” disaster, and the Mint became sent into overdrive to churn out the lolly. The political terrain was saturated with cash, and the crucial financial institution knew stronger than to even create the illusion that it become mopping up excess liquidity; doing so would have subverted the agreement tradition undergirded via country wide coverage. these days, Lexical Hypothesis Lexical Hypothesis, ever so regularly, the central financial institution steps in to promote treasury bonds and take different measures to curb extra liquidity and therefore tame inflation. Yet, despite the CBN’s exertions, that pesky metric stands at a disconcerting 18.5 per cent.
With this history, i will now proceed to the hypothesis I adumbrated a couple of decades ago. I referred to as it the literary theory of inflation. in retrospect, I even have re-christened it the lexical concept of inflation. Now, according to the surest authorities, inflation is the cost at which the customary level of expenses of items and features is rising and, as a result, the purchasing energy of foreign money is falling. That seems to be the situation of the Nigerian financial system these days. there is quite a lot of anecdotal proof for it. Two shut members of the family tell me that inside every week of getting rid of N100, 000 from the financial institution, it’s all gone, with little to demonstrate for it. They tell me they must make an inventory of their purchases and spending simply to convince themselves that they’d no longer been chiseled out of the funds with the aid of a decide upon-pocket or a shopkeeper.

How folks that earn the minimal wage of N18,000 a month – which many state governments say they cannot pay, and have in spite of everything now not paid for six months operating – how such people reside from sooner or later to the next should be one of the nation’s optimal-saved secrets and techniques. At this point, the reader need to be wondering: What has lexis bought to do with inflation?
Lexical inflation, as I operationalise it in this submission, is the fee at which the idiom, the vocabulary of public discourse is billowing, subsequently eroding the vigor and meaning of language. My lexical concept of inflation holds that, in a given surroundings, all issues being equal, the lexical inflation varies without delay because the cost of inflation in the conventional financial system. In different phrases, as the usual level of expenses for goods and features increases, the idiom, the grammar of public discourse balloons, resulting in the degradation of language.
This method does not fake to the rigour, the tight coherence of these social science theories which have stood the test of time. i am hoping an accomplished scholar, or at the very least, an ambitious graduate student desirous of incomes a spot on this planet of gaining knowledge of, will judge it beneficial of extra enquiry and systematic explication.

For now, it is ample to call consideration to some examples which appear to validate the conception, continuing from a longitudinal standpoint. be aware that point when, based on customary Yakubu Gowon, money was no longer a problem but a way to spend it? The Udoji profits bonanza backdated one full 12 months verified the absorptive capacity of Nigerian financial system as under no circumstances before, or considering. a pal of mine quipped then that cash turned into now not his problem all right, but the way to locate it. On the complete, youngsters, it turned into money, cash, cash all over.
in the inflationary spiral set off by way of the bonanza, items and features became extra high priced. Lexical inflation developed to healthy it, consistent with my idea. It become no longer sufficient to run an organization or an organization. It had to be a bunch of corporations, although each operated from the same cramped shop entrance. briefly order, the “group of businesses” was supplanted with the aid of the “neighborhood of industries.”

One example from that era clings in my memory: The Abulu group of Industries. You had to be visually impaired now not to see its large signboard on the facade of a two-storey constructing on Ikorodu highway, between Jibowu and Palmgrove in Lagos. Its line of company was now not stated. however you stood in awe on the facility housing no longer just one business however a couple of industries, and naturally, the self-effacing owner. It became under one’s dignity to answer to the title of manager. To count number for somebody, you had to be a boss, or a managing director, or each. and you might, for decent measure, add a third: chief operating officer. every big constructing became, first, a fancy, and then an extremely-contemporary complicated. Being a federal permanent secretary became no longer a satisfactory distinction. You needed to be a brilliant-permanent secretary. There changed into this Lagos barber who owned a shop on Ojuelegba and an additional in Lawanson. He ran them on alternate days, taking a smash on Sundays. by reason of that association, his company card introduced him with touching modesty as managing director of a Barbers’ neighborhood. A greater discriminating adult would have named the arrangement The Capillary and Tonsorial Artists’ neighborhood.

Now, fast-forward to the latest.

There turned into a time when newspapers were content material to have political editors, activities editors, aspects editors, company editors, science editors, and literary editors. now not anymore. To keep tempo with the rampant inflation within the economy, the media have needed to engage in some lexical inflation of their own. The staffer previously typical as the political editor has considering that been re-specific “neighborhood political editor” His or her colleagues on the other distinctiveness desks have profited from the identical lexical inflation. each hamlet in Nigeria is now a “kingdom,” over which a king or “monarch” guidelines dutifully, with a panoply of princes and princesses and king mothers and queen moms and lesser royals. When the monarch was only a paramount chief, he became content with the title “His Highness.” As lexical inflation gathered pace, he grew to become His Royal Highness. but that too is now circulateé. To be considered a major monarch, you need to have His Majesty prefixed to your name. but even that does not relaxed your reputation, due to the fact there simply may well be some majesties who don’t seem to be royals. So, stronger to insist on “His Royal Majesty.”

however why settle for that should you can tackle the lexically formidable title of “His Imperial Majesty”?

Nigerian politicians have always felt that there changed into something no longer in simple terms inchoate however frankly belittling in being referred to as a State Governor. Nor do they settle for that the prefix “His Excellency” definitely displays their popularity. after all, standard profession ambassadors are additionally entitled to the prefix. So, to make the title mirror the gravity of the workplace, they insist on being referred to as “executive Governors.” Senators do not want to be unsuitable for participants of the apartment of Representatives who are only honourable; you ought to name them “distinctive” even if most of them are distinguished only for being distinguished, like those of whom it has been mentioned that they are famous simplest for being famous. A final notion: My concept holds, be aware, that lexical inflation varies without delay as the currency inflation in a given setting, all things being equal. because of this, after they pad the finances remorselessly, they are preparing the floor for the type of lexical inflation we now have by no means skilled.