“You’re on Mute!” Is the Phrase of the Year

Courtesy of the Financial Times, here’s a weird chart to start off our week:

What accounts for this? Corporate earnings calls, as the name implies, have always been calls. That didn’t change because of the COVID-19 pandemic. And yet, the surge in mentions of muting started precisely in April and May, exactly when the pandemic took off in the United States. Was there a sudden switch from phone calls to Zoom calls, and with it a learning curve of how to mute oneself? But if that’s the case, surely people would learn over time and the incidence of being unexpectedly on mute would decline. That hasn’t happened.

I feel like there’s something obvious that I’m missing here. Somebody school me, please.

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FACT:

Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and the wealthy wouldn't fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2021 demands.

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