Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Surging Towards Bethlehem

Yglesias writes:

This leads me to once again wonder whether we haven't been seeing a surge of "surges" ever since Bush announce the surge back in early 2007.

Maybe. Surge is an extremely useful word if you're a journalist, because it's mild and all-purpose and probably mixes well with any other dormant metaphor in your sentence. (Unlike e.g. spike or soar or balloon, which are fraught with risk.) My sense, from the OED examples, is that it's one of those ebbing-and-flowing vogue words, those billowing cliches that flood the journalistic mind whenever its levees are in disrepair.