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Great leap forward?

September 26, 2011

Moody’s cuts French banks as euro crisis deepens

While Europe’s leaders struggle to avert a first default in the 12-year-old single currency area, the head of the European Union’s executive challenged them to prepare for a great leap forward in fiscal integration that would be deeply divisive.

I wanted to point out some unfortunate language in your article. Your editors decided to include the phrase “great leap forward.”

It seems obvious that “great leap forward” is inappropriately loaded language. For example, you don’t routinely call new immigration laws a “final solution to the immigration question”; and you wouldn’t talk about an urban blight program creating “Lebensraum.”

G.L.

We shouldn’t have used that phrase, which to many people is a permanent reminder of Chairman Mao Zedong’s catastrophic campaign in the People’s Republic of China. GBU Editor

A paramilitary policeman stands in front of the giant portrait of the former Chairman Mao Zedong at Beijing’s Tiananmen Square June 30, 2011. REUTERS/David Gray

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