Epic! A kid to take a tern for the worse

Ideas

A WORD IN THE HAND: EPI

Epic! A kid to take a tern for the worse

A column to satisfy your inner grammar nerd

Journalist

A thoughtful reader has asked why places where the coronavirus proliferates most virulently are referred to as “epicentres”. Why not just “centres”?

The reason is seismic. The centre is just the centre. It is a contained, static point, although as poet William Butler Yeats pointed out, the centre cannot always be relied upon to stay in the same place.

The epicentre is not the centre. It is the part nearest to the centre where whatever happens in the centre is made most visible and causes most damage. But that’s not where it ends...

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