“tectonic shift” (also: “change,” “plates”)

The film and television industry is hardly alone in feeling the tectonic shifts in the way work gets done.
— Gus Carlson, Globe and Mail, Sept. 30.

This tectonic shift, however, probably has more to do with domestic politics and parliamentary elections next month shaping up as an extremely close race between Duda’s ruling party and a right-wing coalition, amidst far-right opposition advocating for less help for Ukraine amidst economic tumult caused by Moscow’s blockade of Ukraine’s grain exports at Black Sea ports.
— Rosie DiManno, Toronto Star, Sept. 30.

Between the two major strikes tearing Hollywood apart, the tectonic changes rocking the global film landscape, and the myriad pressure points needling tensions inside TIFF’s own Lightbox headquarters, this year’s festival itself might contain more drama than the 200-plus films it is set to screen. Not that TIFF’s leaders are ready to call this a disaster flick – it’s closer to a nail-biting thriller.
— Barry Hertz, Globe and Mail, Aug. 31.

There are two fundamentals at the heart of investing: risk and return. The past two years have witnessed a tectonic shift in these factors and their interplay, reshaping the bedrock upon which investment strategies are built as the world has become a more uncertain and unpredictable place, both economically and geopolitically.
– Mark Wiseman, Globe and Mail, Aug 4.

We’re living through a seismic shift (bonus cliché!!—ed) in our political culture – exacerbated by the ramifications of the COVID-19 pandemic – that has rapidly made the ‘left’ versus ‘right’ political spectrum obsolete. As the tectonic plates shaping our political alignment rapidly rearrange themselves, the political spectrum we’ve known for decades has collapsed into an abyss of irrelevance.
— Chad Bowie, Toronto Sun, July 26.

I feel sorry for the woman who married the Berlin Wall. Her husband was felled by tectonic social change. I can only pray nobody ever said “I do” to the Hindenburg.
— Vinay Menon, Toronto Star, July 19.

It was nine years ago on Tuesday when a seismic event shattered the Markel family forever. A personal earthquake akin to the shifting of tectonic plates.
— Brad Hunter with an effortless triple yutz, Toronto Sun, July 19.

Over the past half-decade, the Hollywood ecosystem has been undergoing a tectonic shift in order to please Wall Street, “disruption” being the key word of the era.
— Barry Hertz, Globe and Mail, July 13.

The competitive tectonic plates of the top league in men’s professional hockey didn’t budge. It was more like dozens of non-impact players making a bunch of money for one of the 32 teams convincing one of the other teams to pay them.
— Damien Cox, Toronto Star, July 5.

Twenty-five years after amalgamation the tectonic plates of Toronto politics appear to be shifting though, perhaps signalling a détente or thaw in these kinds of culture wars, allowing room for policy innovation that has been shut out in previous years.
— Shawn Micallef, Toronto Star, July 1.

Finland, with a 1,340 km border with Russia, is now a [NATO] member and Sweden is likely to be one soon, representing a tectonic strategic shift that must be a nightmare for Kremlin strategic planners.
— Aurel Braun, Globe and Mail, June 26.

The $10-billion settlement announced this week between the Robinson-Huron First Nations, Ontario and the federal government signals a tectonic shift in Indigenous-government relations that extends far beyond the large sum awarded in this specific case.
— Ken Coates, Globe and Mail, June 23.

But in Prince Edward Island, at least, a tectonic shift is under way. In the 2019 election, the Green Party surged, taking 31 per cent of the vote and forming the Official Opposition. In this year’s election, the Liberals won back Official Opposition status, but their share of the popular vote fell to its lowest level ever, 17 per cent, behind the Greens at 22 per cent.
— John Ibbitson, Globe and Mail, June 15.

Did advanced analytics ruin baseball? Could it also ruin your business? Workplace tech consultant Phil Simon believes so. He lists unhealthy analytics as one of the tectonic forces reshaping the workplace in his book The Nine.
— Harvey Schacter, Globe and Mail, June 12.

WINNER: Globe and Mail (8)
RUNNER-UP: Toronto Star (4)
MVP: Barry Hertz, Globe (2)


  1. tec·ton·ic /tekˈtänik/ adjective
    1. GEOLOGY
    relating to the structure of the earth’s crust and the large-scale processes which take place within it.
    “the movements of the tectonic plates”
    2. relating to building or construction.
    “a contest of tectonic quality and public attractiveness”

    Yes, Barry Hertz is very bad writer

  2. Nobody feels tectonic shifts. Unless they happen to live for miyyuns of years. In which case, they are far more valuable as biological specimens than as writers or hockey players or politicians or whatevers.

  3. I am very impressed. We often have contests to see who can best mix metaphors to the point of making gibberish sound legitimate. Believe me, it’s tougher than it sounds. Barry Hertz has rolled up his sleeves, put his nose to the grindstone and reached for the stars with this entry. I kneel in awe before someone I stand behind 100%.

  4. I’ve been watching news jargon trends for years. “Full-throated” is one. “Granular” is another.

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