Skip to main content

Each week, we at TheStreet will be taking the time to reflect upon the week that was -- and to expose that week's most annoying market catchphrase in a desperate effort to stomp it into oblivion.

Last Friday, we

brought you our first annoyance

, the one that had been spreading, for months, like crabgrass all over the metaphorical yard of our public discourse:

"Green Shoots."

Our rant was angry. It was withering and historical. Quite honestly, it probably came across as a little unhinged. Still, judging by the litany of responses from readers equally annoyed by the inanity of this whole "green shoots" thing, we appeared to have struck some kind of nerve.

And we hadn't even delved into the whole "extended green-shoots metaphor" problem, wherein commentators on trading floors have discussed, with great solemnity, how the "green shoots are growing across the sector, Larry, except that the government seems determined to pour some type of growth-preventer on them -- like, I don't know, maybe Scotts Roundup, or something more organic, like corn gluten meal...

"But whatever it is, Larry, rest assured that they're not appreciating the delicacy of the green shoots! The green shoots must be watered! They must be protected! We need to erect some type of fence around the green shoots, maybe even drape a lightweight, porous tarp over them!"

Thus, you can imagine our glee when...

Most Annoying Catchphrase of the Week Update:

Tuesday afternoon, CNBC reporter Bob Pisani and anchor Erin Burnett declared, from the floor of the NYSE, that "green shoots" is a phrase that the network has driven into the ground. They deemed it to be dead, fully played-out, never to be spoken again on the network. Or something like that. Honestly, we were too stunned to write it down.

Pisani then announced -- with the type of sincerity that only television reporters can fake -- that the


"green shoots," the catchphrase for today, would now instead be "lowered expectations."

Then, for anyone who hadn't gotten it yet, a graphic appeared on screen: "Lowered Expectations = The New Green Shoots."

And then he interviewed ArcelorMittal CEO Lakshmi Mittal, who proceeded to utter the phrase "green shoots" a good half dozen times.

Oh, well, it's the thought that counts.

Is there a market catchphrase that's annoying you? Email your annoyance to: