If so, any examples? I don’t watch TV news, so perhaps it has become commonplace in spoken news without me being aware of it, especially if the newscaster is simply reading a prepared text. I’m wondering more about everyday non-news spoken communication: “Hey Timmy–did you hear about that Christchurch temblor!!!”
If not, why are news organizations so enamored with it? Do the writers or the editors consider “earthquake” too mundane to be used more than once? And why do they mix up the two (identical, as far as I know) words in the same article?
The commonest pattern I’ve seen is that “temblor” shows up in the title, followed by “earthquake” in the first few sentences, followed by “temblor” again later in the body. It’s as if the writer wants to use another word–a fancier word, perhaps?–but is concerned the reader might not know what a “temblor” is, so “earthquake” is almost always somewhere in the article. I think I understand variety, but using a term one does not hear in spoken communication seems strangely stilted and to my mind at least, adds no value.
Here for example, but I don’t think it’s only an affectation of the AP folks, is it?