Ben Bernanke invoked the metaphorical phrase Green Shoots on March 15th to describe incipient economic recovery. The plant analogy was squarely aimed at improving market psychology: if the Fed chief exudes optimism, confidence will begin to sprout. Using Google Trends, EB has been tracking media usage of the nebulous cliche (apparently Bloomberg has been too) since the ‘09 buzzword was first uttered on 60 Minutes. The Google hit tally “Green Shoots” reached 5.39 mill tonight. As Green Shoots propagated — cultivated by financial media stalwarts — the phrase began to produce unseemly offspring. Examples of Green Shoots’ progeny: Yellow Weeds, Moss, Daffodils — even Brown Manure. Aside from William Safire’s deafening silence on the matter (Where’s the Green Shoots column, Bill? Stop Sleeping!), EB has but one question for you: Does hearing abt. “Green Shoots” make you feel more confident about our economic future?