While it's embarrassing and cheesy for folks over thirty to use the lexicon of the youth-- I try to never use slang in front of my students unless it's obviously ironic-- but I did learn some excellent terms that I can sprinkle into conversation this week, I picked them up while listening to Vox's super-wonky policy podcast The Weeds:
1) dark fiber . . . is not bran cereal, it's a term for fiber optic cable that is not being used-- no light pulses are going through it, so it's "dark" . . . during the dotcom boom, shitloads of fiber optic cable was laid, and then the bubble burst, but the infrastructure was in place, just "dark";
2) shadow inventory . . . is not a bunch of captured souls in Satan's warehouse, it's the properties in the real estate market that are in foreclosure or haven't been listed because people are waiting for the market to improve, and this makes it difficult to peg the supply because there's al this inventory in the shadows, lurking . . . this reminds of the the term "overhang" in the diamond market, which refers to the massive amount of shadow inventory that prevents used diamonds from being worth anything near what a new one costs;
3) decouple . . . we're not talking trains, we're talking about decoupling health care from employment, which has its pros and cons, but mainly pros-- which is why most first world nations do it that way . . . anyway, while I won't be using any of the new slang words I learned in the near future (although once I turn seventy-five, I'm using all the youthful slang, because nothing is more hysterical than a really old codger claiming "this shizzle is off the hook") but I'm certainly going to try to work this new economic jargon into my daily conversation, preferably, all in one long intimidating sentence.