I am reading the article at Orlando.com and this sentence stuns me "she wanted to build a community epicenter.” I run into this type of use of the word epicenter all the time.
It strikes me as very wrong, but Meriam-Webster actually shows two definitions of epicenter, and center being one of them.
Languages are live organisms and tend to change, and often take the wrong use and legitimize it solely on usage. That’s how many previously wrong forms of words, or wrong usages slowly but surely become acceptable and become norm.
But using the word Epicenter as a sinonym for Center doesn’t sound right. Epicenter is the “part of earth’s surface directly above the focus of an earthquake”. It is not the center, it is the projection of the center to the surface. It is where you feel the earthquake the most. I understand that it can be used to reflect not only earthquakes, but the key here is that Epicenter and Center are not in the same physical location.
Epicenter is not where the event is taking place, it is where you feel it.
To me building community epicenter is confusing. Where is the center? Is this place only a reflection of the center, which is somewhere else?
Because center and epicenter should not mean the same place…
Funny, Meriam-Webster for the second meaning as center uses the following example – “the epicenter of world finance”. Sounds like a black market/money laundering scheme to me :)
Image by Shashank Mhasawade via Flickr.com/creativecommons/