Saturday, August 27, 2011


Sitting here on Saturday night watching coverage of Hurricane Irene.  Really amazing what a punch something like this can pack. 

Wife is a weather junkie. She probabaly would have been a splendid meteorologist.  She understands jet streams, dew points and high and low pressure systems. Me?  I just try to catch the forecast when I can so I'll know whether or not to carry an umbrella. Most of that other stuff goes over my head.

As I write this, Irene is on her way north from North Carolina.  Although North Carolinians took a pretty good hit, early indications are that the damage is not as bad as they thought it might have been. You never know.  We'll see what happens as this massive storm heads up the East Coast.  I believe I just heard the Weather Channel guy say that the last time a hurricane hit land in New York City was 1821.  Wow.

Wouldn't it have been a bummer to be visitng the Big Apple this weekend?  You might have had theater tickets, planned to ferry out to Ellis Island or planned to take in a Mets or Yankees game. Not this time, friends. And you might even be stuck there to boot as most flights in and out of the airports are grounded.

In trying to find humor in this situation, I keep track of the buzz words the reporters use.  I swear, I don't know what these people would do if they couldn't use the folliwng words and phrases:

1.  Impact as a verb.  "Virginia Beach has really been impacted by this storm."  "It is almost certain that Irene will impact Marlyland."  "Tell me Jim, how have the beaches been impacted?"

2.  Issues.  "This storm will cause big issues for travelers."  "Hurricane Irene is causing issues up and down the East Coast."  "The water will likely cause flooding issues."

3.  On the ground.  "We'll go right to __________ who is on the ground in Battery Park in New York City."  "There are volunteers on the ground to aid storm victims." 

My only commentary is with regard to number three. On the ground?  And where else might they be???


Kelly said...

My sister and I are weather junkies, too, but not to the extent of our brother Mike. He SHOULD have been a meteorologist!

Despite shunning FB, I think you know I've become a big Twitter fan and following the Weather Channel's coverage (via Twitter) of this hurricane has been amazing.

On a side note - I can't use the word "issues" without thinking of you and how you dislike that terminology, but there are times it just fits better than "problems". It gives more of a sense of something that can be dealt with, imo.

Still laughing at your last thought. I've seen a few weather reporters that were barely on the ground!

Bob said...

Touche regarding "on the ground" with regard to the storm; I guess some of them could be flying in the wind! But I still cringe at how much this term is used, especially in the media.

My dad was a weather junkie too and he always asked me about the weather when he called me. He LOVED the Weather Channel. One of the few things he and Susan had in common.

quid said...

Good wordsmithing!

I'm glad Irene is almost over, and with far less damage than there would have been if the governments of the various states and cities hadn't prepared so well.

Nice to see government work.

Not used to much of that lately.

Bob Barbanes: said...

I think "on the ground" refers more to being there than, say, being in an aircraft and reporting while circling overhead the action. And I think it comes from recent (i.e. post-Vietnam) war reporting: "Let's go to Geraldo Rivera who is on the ground in Iraq..."

It gives the reporter more authority if it is noted that he is actually "in country" and not reporting from some neighboring country where the fighting is not. Dude, that Geraldo is ON THE GROUND...right there with those soldiers, man!

In the case of Irene, what good would it do to switch to TWC's hurricane specialist in Miami? Better to go live to a reporter who is...ready?...ON THE GROUND! where the storm actually is.

Stupid, I know. But that's TV for you.

Pencil Writer said...

Com'on, Bob! They COULD have been caught up in a twister, spun off the terrific winds that impacted the East Coast--somewhere along the way. I suspect that those reporters would have had a few issues when they did return to the ground. Just sayin'. :-)

Debby said...

They were on the opposed to the winged celestial volunteers.

I know, I know. Bob B. is correct. *sigh*