Maybe most remarkable about the term “the market,” is the incredible variety of ideas it invokes.
The market, at its most mundane, conjures an image of a grocery store with its rainbow wash, the visual signatures of myriad brands all competing for our eyes, and for the dollars that follow. We also retain this cultural memory: the market as a place for basket-weavers and growers to hock their wares, for handmade rugs to rub up against stacks of kohlrabi.
At one time, the word granular was almost always reserved for something physical or technical, for example, as a measure of the resolution of a photographic emulsion, or of how fine the sugar.
But recently, I’ve noticed granular used in office settings to indicate a level of detail that the speaker would rather avoid. It’s generally said with a certain tinge of disdain as well, something like, “Well, we could talk about that some other time, but we don’t want to get into the granular level here.”
Journalists and bloggers, teachers and everybody on Facebook love to use the phrase “studies show.”
I love it, too.
“Studies show” tickles the part of us that asserts a superior sort of rationality and an up-to-date command of the facts. It makes us feel smart, particularly when the study we cite is surprising or new, but especially when it reinforces what we already believe.