Bad word

Published: Tuesday 15 March 2005

Tsunami USA

Linguistic experts have noted a change in the way the word tsunami is used throughout the world since the tragedy of December 26, 2004. "Before the Indian Ocean tsunami the word was used in dozens of different contexts: musicians would produce sonic tsunamis, Wall Street analysts foresaw tsunamis of bad earnings and Japanese restaurants served tsunami sushi rolls. Thousands of sports teams around the world used tsunami into their names, such as the Tsunami Aquatics Swim team of Livermore, California," said Paul Payback of the us- based Global Language Monitor (glm). "Since the disaster, the word has assumed a solely solemn use, much the way ground zero, for the site of the World Trade Centre, had its original meaning changed from the starting point to the centre of the September 11 tragedy," according to the eminent linguist.

"The Japanese word has appeared more than 18.5 million times and been the subject of 88,000 articles in major media since the December 26 disaster," he added.

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