Word o’ the Day: tenterhooks

The word of the day is “tenterhooks.”  According to dictionary.com, tenterhooks are the “hooks or nails” that hold the cloth or fabric stretched on a “tenter.”  Looking further, a tenter is used to hold a fabric being manufactured so that it sets up properly.  As your English teacher might have instructed you at one time, please use it in a sentence.  (I always tried to get by with using the following template:  “He tried to use the word tenterhooks in a sentence.”)  Okay, here goes, “the investment guy was on tenterhooks as he saw that S & P futures were off by 50 points.”

Indeed, the market is on tenterhooks, and that’s evidenced by kneejerk reactions to anything and everything, a good example of which is below.  For someone with a longer-term timeframe this is a good time to make some key investments–taking advantage of someone else’s irrationality.  For someone with a shorter timeframe, however, it’s troubling that–even when presented with the facts–i.e. the EU commissioner was nothing close to an expert–that the market doesn’t reverse course.

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