WOOS: (Word) Occupational overuse syndrome

March 26, 2011
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I know the Christchurch earthquake has been awful, that it has done so much damage to the city it’s almost too much to comprehend.

However, I think it’s time we in the media banned the term “earthquake-ravaged”. Much like the liquefaction, it’s everywhere: earthquake-ravaged this, earthquake-ravaged that, earthquake-ravaged city, earthquake-ravaged central-business district, the earthquake-ravaged eastern suburbs … the list goes on.

It was a good, effective, punchy way of describing the damage. Once or twice. But now it’s been so overused that it’s losing its impact.

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Jillian "George" Allison-Aitken

I live in the deep south of New Zealand, where smelly dairy cows are taking over from sheep in the livestock stakes. My hometown is the small but perfectly formed city of Invercargill, which is also the hometown of the original boy racer, Burt Munro. Find out more about me here.

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