A meteor is falling, possibly to oblivion, and doing so in spectacular fashion.
Once something makes the transition from meteoroid to meteor its downfall isn't merely inevitable, it is ongoing.
It is also temporary. The absolute longest a meteor can last is from when it hits the atmosphere to when it smashes into earth. (As noted, many don't last long enough to hit rock bottom.)
Today the word a day from wordsmith was "meteoric" and this marks the first time I've actually taken a moment to look at the definition:
Note the second one. That's what people are talking about with "meteoric rise" note "transience".PRONUNCIATION:(mee-tee-OR-ik)
1. Relating to a meteor or a meteorite.
2. Resembling a meteor in speed, brilliance, suddenness, or transience.
3. Coming from the atmosphere (used to describe water); meteorological.
ETYMOLOGY:From Old French meteore, from Latin meteorum, from Greek meteoron (raised in the air), from meta- (among) + aeirein (to raise). Ultimately from the Indo-European root wer- (to raise), which also gave us air, aura, aorta, artery, and arterious. Earliest documented use: 1612.
Unless the tragedy of [insert name here] has already played out and their rise has been followed by their downfall, how can we know the transience? Isn't it a bit early to talk about someone's meteoric rise when we don't yet know if they'll burn out/hit rock bottom? Maybe, just maybe, they won't come to ruin and rumors of their meteorlikeness will turn out to be premature and exaggerated.
Then again, maybe reporters and headline writers just have a depressing view of the world and believe that every rise must ultimately end in a swift burning fall that leads to either oblivion or rock bottom.
Or, maybe assholes who can't tell up from down and destruction from ascension have managed to fuck up the language to the point that this word will never make anything resembling sense again.
There's no actual proof, but I feel like one of those options is more likely.