Monday, July 15, 2013

Misused words: "Chronic"

"Chronic" is a term commonly used in medicine to refer to a condition that is persistent, long-lasting, as opposed to "acute".

It is incorrect to use it to mean "severe".

You could use it to talk about "chronic" economic stagnation in a country only if the economy had been in that condition for a long time and was not expected to recover. If the economy had shrunk in one or two years, "chronic" would be wrong, however deep the plunge in national output.

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