I watched a new word being born on the TV the other day. The financial news anchor had been talking about "sub-prime" mortgages. Those are predatory, high risk mortgages that are now going into foreclosure. It is apparently a new buzz word in the financial world.
The thing that amused me was that within a few minutes of the financial report, another anchor, (Miles O'Brien?) used the term in reference to something non-financial. Later someone else used it, again in a non-financial sense. Thus we will now be bombarded with sub-prime sports scores, sub-prime beer, sub-prime spouses, etc. Remember, you heard it here first!
Sub-prime has been in use for a while in the financial industry.
World Wide Words:
Well, it's certainly memorable! The general concept reminds me of the attempt by the used-car people to first use the term "pre-owned" which still survives and then the term "pre-titled" which fell flat on its elegant face!
I have heard that many of the providers of mortgages to such poor risks are now in trouble as interest rates climb and defaults increase.
Why do I have little sympathy for the plight of the lenders and considerable sympathy for that of the borrowers?
I had not meant that the term sub-prime was new to the financial world, although it is relatively new. I was amused at the transfer of the term to things other than mortgages. E.g., a defective car, a stale sandwich, a poor sport's score would be sub-prime.
Yes, and don't forget sub-prime beef and sub-prime numbers.
Sub-prime beef isn't very specific. Here are your USDA grades...
Cerebroplegia--the cure is within our grasp