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Updated: 2005-01-17 11:27
Disaster Changes Use of Word 'Tsunami'

东南亚海啸惊天动地 “海啸”含义从此改变

Disaster Changes Use of Word 'Tsunami'


Before, musicians produced a "sonic tsunami," Wall Street analysts foresaw "tsunamis" of bad earnings news and Japanese restaurants served "tsunami" sushi rolls.

The word was used in dozens of different contexts, but now it likely will appear with just one, tragic, meaning, a language group said on Wednesday.

Because of the South Asian tsunami disaster that has killed more than 150,000 people, the word assumes a solely solemn use, much the way "Ground Zero," for the site of the World Trade Center, had its meaning changed from "starting point" to the center of the Sept. 11 tragedy, said Paul Payack, head of Global Language Monitor.

Payack said that since the Dec. 26 tsunami, the Japanese word has appeared more than 18.5 million times and been the subject of 88,000 articles in major media.

"Before Sept. 11, 2001, the term ground zero was a business cliche meaning starting point, especially when beginning a project over again as in 'going back to ground zero.' That term now represents what many consider to be hallowed ground and its old usage is rarely employed," he said.

"In the same manner, we envision that the word tsunami will be the subject of considerable discretion before being used in anything other than a most serious manner," he said.

Payack said thousands of sports teams around the world use tsunami into their names, like the Tsunami Aquatics Swim team of Livermore, California.

He said there are also some 10,000 products called tsunami, like Tsunami Point-to-Point Wireless Bridges, Tsunami Multimedia Speakers and Tsunami Image Processors.

Newspaper headline writers also liked the colorful word, as the Detroit News' "Ford Releases a Tsunami of New Products" and "Heading for the presidency on a tsunami of visions" in London's The Times.













sushi: small cakes of cold cooked rice wrapped in seaweed, dressed with vinegar, and topped or wrapped with slices of raw or cooked fish, egg, or vegetables.(寿司,生鱼片冷饭团)


envision: to picture in the mind; imagine(想像)

discretion: 谨慎;考虑周到

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· Disaster Changes Use of Word 'Tsunami'
东南亚海啸惊天动地 “海啸”含义从此改变
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