Thursday, November 4, 2010

The Economist is so damn funny

If you don't know much about the Economist magazine, it is quite possibly the best source of detailed analysis of major events around the globe. Each issue is densely packed with in-depth articles on a wide-variety of topics.

Basically, it is like Time magazine on horse testosterone.

But of course, it is published from Britain so it has a distinctively British flavour to it. And I am not even talking about the perfunctory differences in spelling and diction. I am talking about some full-blown peculiarities:

Each letter to the editor hilariously begins with  "SIR-". Now I wonder, do readers write like this, or are the editors diligently adding the greeting? Hmm, it would be funny if someone said "SIR - I hated your article on the instability of Nigeria."

What bowled me over, though, was their absolutely snarky and dry captions. Take a look at this one:

No way to cement a relationship

This is taken from their most recent issue (October 30), and the article discusses a fairly boring takeover bid of a construction company in Germany. Look at the caption though!! Get it?

Here is another one: (from an article about France's pension reform)

Bet he wasn't worried about his pension

Just incredible that this stodgy, staid magazine serious enough to append SIRs to the letters to the editor sneaks in little nuggets of humor (or should I say humour). Seriously, who comes up with these things? Do they hire a bloke whose sole job is to churn out sarcastic one-liners to match the article? That would be a pretty cool job IMO.

Those monocle-wearing, tea-sipping, cricket-playing Brits are masters of subtlety, aren't they?


  1. Hmm. Like the Economist, love their captions, but hate the way their articles end. "It may be this, but it also may be that. Only time will tell."

  2. Dude come on you were hysterical when I showed them to you haha