Well spotted! Yes indeed, my rendering of viparinama was chosen very carefully to emphasize the meaning of death.
One of the primary shifts between the EBTs and later Buddhism was the treatment of time. In the EBTs, the basic time frame is a lifetime, and the basic meaning of impermanence is therefore death. In later texts, the basic time frame became the “moment”, and the basic meaning of impermanence became “rise and fall”.
This has, like so many Abhidhammic ideas, influenced modern translators and compilers of dictionaries, via the commentaries, and shifts the meaning of many passages.
In addition, we have the extra problem that in modern times “change” is associated with progress, and is often seen as largely positive. But viparinama is regularly used in passages where it’s highly negative emotional charge is seen. Actually, this meaning was brought out better in the older PTS dict, but has been lost in some more modern translations:
change (for the worse), reverse, vicissitude
So in rendering passages we should try to bring out these aspects of the terms, rather than leave them as cold technical terms. Here’s some examples.
Take SN 22.4:
taṃ rūpaṃ vipariṇamati aññathā hoti. Tassa rūpavipariṇāmaññathābhāvā uppajjanti sokaparidevadukkhadomanassupāyāsā.
But that form of theirs changes and perishes, which gives rise to sorrow, crying, pain, sadness, and distress.
Or AN 5.30
Piyānaṃ kho, nāgita, vipariṇāmaññathābhāvā uppajjanti sokaparidevadukkhadomanassupāyāsā
When loved ones change and perish, sorrow, crying, pain, sadness, and distress arise.
Or AN 10.29:
“As far as Kāsi and Kosala extend, and as far as the realm of King Pasenadi of Kosala extends, King Pasenadi is said to be the foremost. But even King Pasenadi changes and perishes. Seeing this, a learned noble disciple becomes disillusioned with it.
And in some cases, translating it as “change” or “alteration” is clearly incorrect, eg. SN 22.38, where it is obviously a synonym of “cessation”.
yaṃ kho, āvuso, rūpaṃ atītaṃ niruddhaṃ vipariṇataṃ
Form that has passed, ceased, perished.