The word‘inflation’ is used in different senses, which, however, are related to each other. This may be bad for communication and even for thinking. A reader or listener may assume that a writer or speaker is using it in one sense when in fact he intends another. Worse, its user himself may not know what he does mean. Time and again, especially recently, when this word has been employed, I have been quite confident that its user could not stand up to an examination on what he thought that he meant by it. The harm may go further still and cause confusion in policy-making itself. It would probably be a good thing if its use was strictly outlawed, if only that were possible.
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