Wednesday, July 9, 2008

The attack continues.

This morning on NPR I heard this sentence:
"A chance of storms today, some of which may be severe."

This is another sloppy attack on our language.

A couple days ago I was struck by the lack of linguistic precision found in this item in the news: "It's the deadliest attack in Afghanistan since the fall of the Taliban." Because I don't believe the Taliban ever fell.

And today we have "severe storms."

A storm, by definition, is severe. This is according to Merriam-Webster: 1 storm

Middle English, from Old English; akin to Old High German sturm storm, Old English styrian to stir
before 12th century

1 a: a disturbance of the atmosphere marked by wind and usually by rain, snow, hail, sleet, or thunder and lightning b: a heavy fall of rain, snow, or hail c (1): wind having a speed of 64 to 72 miles (103 to 117 kilometers) per hour

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