(I wrote a letter to NPR today about something that has been bugging me for quite some time.)
Earlier today on Morning Edition, during a piece about post-bankruptcy Twinkies and Wonder Bread, a reporter used the word 'tsunami', as in "there was tsunami of information" or words to that effect. Christopher Shays also used 'tsunami' in reference to the outcome of his congressional race. Since when did 'tsunami' become an adjective or a metaphor? What happened to the use of great words like deluge, onslaught, or inundated, swamped? When I think of tsunami, I think of the horrible destruction and loss of life that took place 4 years ago this month. Would you think it appropriate and accurate to say that our nation was "9-11-ed" by the recent financial crisis? Or that the Detroit Three are handling their companies like a New Orleans levee? Words are important: they paint a picture, illuminate an image in ways that make an impact, especially on the radio. Choose them wisely.