Nothing shakes up the traders of Wall street up more than a good panic, as it did the ancient Greeks. The Greeks, however, knew its source, the greatest trouble maker of all the pagan deities — Pan.
Not just your generic prankster, Pan struck terror into the hearts of all, from wood nymphs to human beings. Soon people began attributing to him any sudden contagious fright, naming it panicos, making him the source of all our panic.
When panic ensues, many hit or push the panic button, acting in unnecessary haste. During W.W.II, aircraft bombers had one button which alerted the crew when the plane was hit and another that triggered ejection. Oft times, however, the damage was not as severe as imagined, but the pilot overreacted, pushing the button prematurely, causing the crew to bail out unnecessarily.
When all hell breaks loose, some call it pandemonium — from Milton's Paradise Lost, naming the high capital of Satan, from the Greek, pan, "all," and daimon, "spirit."
Not to fear. Prospectors once panned for gold, scooping small amounts of sand and gravel from streams and riverbeds. Things panned out when the gold settled to the bottom, and sand and gravel washed away. No thanks to the wood sprite or to Wall St. most things ultimately do pan out successfully.