The word "uptick"

This word gets used dishonestly - to minimize bad news - almost every time it’s used at all.

A formal definition of “less than one tenth of one percent” and misleading uses getting called out, would help.

Or just people being honest and saying “increase” when that’s what they mean.

Economists writing financial reports often need synonyms for increase and decrease. Uptick is one of them. It comes from the stock market: see uptick rule.

Would you happen to have a citation for this “definition”?

Is this like saying that the formal definition of “decimate” is 1 out of 10 killed and any other usage is misleading? If so, language is a living thing and definitions change.

This misuse of language makes my head literally explode.

He’s not saying that is the definition, he’s saying that it should be. I did a quick check and no definition quantifies it, but all say small, some incremental. And Bryan Ekers, sorry about your head.:smiley:

It doesn’t rise to that level, because uptick has never meant what DavidwithanR suggests.

It’s not dishonest per se. It refers to an increase with the connotation that all we know is that the latest data point is higher than the prior data point - it may not signify a broader trend.

As others have pointed out, it comes from a stock market regulation regarding short selling. The regulation went into effect in 1938, and Google ngram looks like this:

Your grotesque mangling and utter destruction of the English language, the most beautiful and melodic language in the entire universe, makes me want to kill everyone in my neighborhood.


The paragraph in Merriam-Webster explaining this usage was rather strangely written:
Upticks are most important when it comes to short-selling stocks. The “uptick rule,” which was in place from 1938-2007, required every short-sale transaction be entered on an uptick. This rule was instated to keep short sellers from putting unjust pressure on a stock’s price, adding to a security’s downward spiral.
To me the whole thing reads like it was written by someone whose first language is not English. The words or phrases “most”, “be entered on”, “instated”, and “unjust” are not the ones that a reasonable writer would have chosen, IMO, and the second sentence is unnecessarily cryptic (mainly due to the odd phrase “be entered on”). The “uptick rule”, quite simply, prohibits a broker from making a short sale at less than the last trade price. He must only make a short sale either at (a) the same price as the last trade, if that price was an uptick, or (b) a higher price than the last trade. This is to prevent short selling from forcing a stock price downward and destabilizing the market.

No, that’s not what it’s like. It’s like complaining when people start saying “extra large” to mean “regular size” and expecting everyone else to understand.

Or complaining that the smallest cup of coffee on the menu is called the “tall”?

Except there’s almost no evidence that anyone knows the usage of “uptick” that you claim is standard. The Uptick Rule isn’t the only usage of the word, and it appears the word was actually coined in 1962, long after the rule was created.

Except an entered order ≠ an executed order.

An entered order is a request to buy (or sell) a stock. (Overly simplifying: ) Only after it’s accepted by the other party does it become an executed order. IOW, having worked in that business, I totally understand that sentence & don’t see it awkward phrasing. Jargony perhaps, but not awkward phrasing.