In a recent article in New York magazine, a reporter described an entourage of politicians preparing to leave a building
" . . . we headed for the exits, and as we were all escalating down to the lobby . . ."
A survey of definitions for the verb escalate on onelook.com all reveal meanings such as
to make or become greater or more serious
Cambridge and several other dictionaries note that the verb is derived from the noun escalator, (which began as a coined trademark word that has now become the generic term for moving staircase).
A few dictionaries, such as this one suggest that the original meaning of escalate was just that -- to ride an escalator, and list a definition
to raise, lower, rise, or descend on or as if on an escalator.
All of these ride-the-escalator definitions seem to be based on one listing in Random House Dictionary.
Is an acceptance of the original meaning re-emerging? And if so, can one escalate down, which ironically seems to fly in the face of the more common usage of escalate (up)?