The US team has been knocked out of the World Cup by Germany, which is a shame but not within the purview of Languagehat. The lead of the NY Times story by Jere Longman, however, is:
There will be no repeat title for the United States in the Women’s World Cup, no tense championship match, no engaging penalty-kick shootout, no additional validating moment for the women’s sports movement that has billowed over the past three decades.
Now, it’s true that one definition of “billow” is ‘to surge,’ but this usage doesn’t work for me or the people I just tried it on here in my weekend retreat. Does it work for anybody out there, or should Ms Longman have written “surged” or “exploded” or “shot up like a startled grouse” or the like?