I remember hearing about summit meetings in the 1970s, and the term made sense, even if it catered to the vanity of those involved in the meetings and the self-importance of the reporters who covered them. A summit meeting was a meeting of leaders at the very tops, or summits, of their countries. Then journalists (and maybe politicians) started abbreviating the term to summit, and, about a year ago, some reporter referred to (I am not making this up) a high-level summit.
To slay means, according to my desk dictionary, "to kill violently, wantonly, or in great numbers." To use it as if it meant simply "to kill" is to rob the language of a useful word. A few weeks ago, I read a newspaper story that said a police officer killed in a car crash while on the job had been "slain on duty."
The writers in question were, of course, ignorant of the meanings of the words they used. But does it serve a useful purpose to call them dopes? One man's illiterate mistake is another's linguistic evolution. Best to go home and read a good book.
© Peter Rozovsky 2011