Some of the misuse can be sent that way, the description can be expanded and then that takes care of that. A lot of what we have are basically ZCEs, though, which will probably just get zapped or commented out.
Now, this is mainly just speculation on my part without reading the descriptions.
Losing a love interest seems more tied to losing your will to live on. A love interest is an equal. Maybe not an equal in combat, but a mental equal. It's someone who's tied to your wants and desires. If someone like that dies, you don't think you can live on.
Losing a little sister is more akin to losing your right to live on. A little sister isn't an equal, but someone to protect. Someone you have an obligation to protect. Normally you can live on, but since you failed, you don't think you deserve it.
You don't have the same kind of relationships to the two types, and subsequently the emotions aren't the same. I'm however not sure how much practical difference it makes, though.
The practical difference, I think, would be more the way in which, for example, a character with a dead love interest will be affected in their approach to any possible future love interests - a facet that won't exist with the broader trope. Things like that.
The Lost Lenore is a reoccurring pattern that has a large number of different elements associated with it. Some of those elements are tropes. Some are not. But the sum of the whole is greater than it's parts.
I do believe that a supertrope for death of a character as a driving force for the action is a good trope. From what I've seen, there seem to be several distinct flavours of it:
Brother/Sister/Child/Someone young and innocent and under your protection: This tends to make for characters that feel that they have failed and that they need to redeem themselves. They are generally very determined in nature.
The Lost Lenore: This tends to make for more avenging characters that have a hard time replacing their lost love. There's generally an overarching romance theme to these plots. These character generally are turned cynical and tend to have their hearts closed. Getting over that loss and letting someone new into their life is a huge struggle.
Fallen Brothers In Arms: This is the story of the old war vet who feels that he must carry on the memory of his fallen brothers. Generally this is tinged with PTSD and the inability to let go of the war that killed them.
Examples that don't fit these three categories tend to be a general supertrope for character motivation. As motivations go, death tends to colour not just an individual character, but the entire plot of a work. It's one of the big ones.
Reality is that, which when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.
-Philip K. Dick
Incidentally, I'd like to note with respect to the OP that American McGee's Alice and Alice: Madness Returns are actually both correct use, if insufficiently described. (The death of Alice's family, including her older sister, lead directly to her fatalistic outlook and cynical self-pity in conjunction with and by way of her incarceration at Rutledge.)
♫ It's a beautiful day in homogeneous coordinate space, ♫ ♫ A beautiful day for a homogeneous coordinate ♫
Okay. Still, there's such staggering misuse that even if I incorrectly identified even half of those misused examples it would still be over 30%, which is bad enough.
8:0 for rename, 5:2 for trope transplant. Need more votes.
Or rather, most of the examples aren't really written at all.
Edit: Oh, crowner looks good to go, though I guess it'll be left open a little while longer. Cynicism Catalyst was the most popular alternate name suggested, but do we have any others to suggest?
Alternative Titles: Dead Little Sister
18th Feb '13 6:15:34 AM
Vote up names you like, vote down names you don't. Whether or not the title will actually be changed is determined with a different kind of crowner (the Single Proposition crowner). This one just collects and ranks alternative titles.