Climbing Evere’st’s

Records, they say, are meant to be broken.  Looking at the Guinness Book of Records, we might think, for the majority at least, “who cares?”  But unlike the maximum number of drunk college freshmen in a telephone booth (ok, I know they don’t exist any more), some records are viewed as significant.  When they are broken, a new benchmark of substance is established.  Some such levels seem so far beyond the norm that we rarely even consider them, preferring instead to refer to more recent performance as a standard.  Thus we may say the current drop in equity markets is worse than the one in 2002.  We now hear comparisons that some things are worse than the 1930s.  But records are made by substituting a t for the e, thereby changing worse to worst.  E’s and T’s matter when dealing with ever.  That’s what makes a true benchmark.  Everest is the highest point in the world.  Some of today’s benchmarks, interest rates for example, are setting new standards for lowest ever.  History is being made; too bad that at present it seems to be for the worse(t).