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I have been using trickle down in contexts totally irrelevant to economy and similar concepts. Here is an example:

Any change involving a particular part of an ecosystem will trickle down, in due course, to the others.

Many Google results are related, in a way or the other, to national wealth, haves and have-nots, etc.

The following is a rare example Google fetches:

That news may take at least a day to trickle down to the street.

I'd like to know if this usage is unacceptable or simply less common? What could be a better alternative, if this is not acceptable?

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Trickle down has also an idiomatic usage besides the economic one: (from TFD)

  • trickle down (to someone or something):
    1. Lit. [for a liquid] to seep or dribble downward to reach someone or something. The water trickled down the wall to the floor. It trickled down very slowly.
    2. Fig. [for something] to be distributed to someone or something in little bits at a time. The results of the improved economy trickled down to people at lower-income levels. Information about what happened finally trickled down to me.
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  • The second example of the second sense should allow this usage then. Am I right? – Itsme Nov 13 '14 at 21:32
  • Yes, in a figurative way you can use it with the meaning shown in the example. – user66974 Nov 13 '14 at 21:34
  • Except that "trickle down" might not be the best metaphor for an ecosystem's interconnectedness. – TRomano Nov 13 '14 at 21:41

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