Who Is Grammatically Challenged? John Taylor or the Wall Street Journal Editorial Page?

Perhaps I will get around to commenting on John Taylor’s latest contribution to public discourse and economic enlightenment on the incomparable Wall Street Journal editorial page. And then again, perhaps not. We shall see.

In truth, there is really nothing much in the article that he has not already said about 500 times (or is it 500 thousand times?) before about “rule-based monetary policy.” But there was one notable feature about his piece, though I am not sure if it was put in there by him or by some staffer on the legendary editorial page at the Journal. And here it is, first the title followed by a teaser:

John Taylor’s Reply to Alan Blinder

The Fed’s ad hoc departures from rule-based monetary policy has hurt the economy.

Yes, believe it or not, that is exactly what it says: “The Fed’s ad hoc departures from rule-based monetary policy has [sic!] hurt the economy.”

Good grief. This is incompetence squared. The teaser was probably not written by Taylor, but one would think that he would at least read the final version before signing off on it.

UPDATE: David Henderson, an authoritative — and probably not overly biased — source, absolves John Taylor from grammatical malpractice, thereby shifting all blame to the Wall Street Journal editorial page.

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5 Responses to “Who Is Grammatically Challenged? John Taylor or the Wall Street Journal Editorial Page?”


  1. 1 David R. Henderson July 23, 2014 at 8:35 pm

    David, I’ve written over 40 op/eds for the WSJ. I’ve NEVER got to see the dec lines that they add. I would be surprised if John got to see this one.

  2. 2 David Glasner July 23, 2014 at 9:03 pm

    David, You’re way ahead of me; I’ve only written three. The third — and I am sure the last — was probably written almost 25 years ago, so my memory of those interactions is not very clear. So, based on your up-to-date, first-hand knowledge, I’ll just blame it all on Murdoch.

  3. 3 Benjamin Cole July 24, 2014 at 5:25 am

    Sad to say, even major publications have cut their copy desks, which house those unsung soldiers who vet spelling, grammar, names and what else.

    The New Yorker recently referred to the “Federal Open Markets Committee,” in a story of Janet Yellen. Yes, with the “s.”

    Worse. The New Yorker declared that Yellen was “redefining the Fed.” Since Yellen is doing exactly what Bernanke was doing, what means this? I wrote it up for Marcus Nunes.

    So the Internet gives and tales away. We get wonderful blogs. But the English language may take a beating…but then maybe it deserves one. I mean, “that” vs. “which”? On which side of the Atlantic?

  4. 4 Tom Brown July 25, 2014 at 1:48 pm

    “But the English language may take a beating…but then maybe it deserves one.” … yes, perhaps it does! :D

  5. 5 The Arthurian August 21, 2014 at 5:30 pm

    “The distribution of the gains from new technologies were also shaped by an evolving institutional equilibrium.” — Daron Acemoglu and James A. Robinson in The Rise and Fall of General Laws of Capitalism.

    http://economics.mit.edu/files/9834


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About Me

David Glasner
Washington, DC

I am an economist at the Federal Trade Commission. Nothing that you read on this blog necessarily reflects the views of the FTC or the individual commissioners. Although I work at the FTC as an antitrust economist, most of my research and writing has been on monetary economics and policy and the history of monetary theory. In my book Free Banking and Monetary Reform, I argued for a non-Monetarist non-Keynesian approach to monetary policy, based on a theory of a competitive supply of money. Over the years, I have become increasingly impressed by the similarities between my approach and that of R. G. Hawtrey and hope to bring Hawtrey's unduly neglected contributions to the attention of a wider audience.

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