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Frankenstorm
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2012/10/27
10:32am
larrfirr
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I’m not comfortable with the coinage “Frankenstorm” to describe hurricaine Sandy.  Presumably the rationale is that it is combination of weather systems the way Frankenstein was a combination of body parts.  The prefix “Franken-” has been used in the past to describe natural things which have been modified by technolgy “Frankenfood” “Frankenfish”.  That is a specific meaning and even though this is not an established word/prefix I do wish they’d stick to the original meaning.  Now, if the point was that the storm was created by global warming, which is not the implication here, it would make sense.  I do understand the phrase “perfect storm” has been way overused.

2012/10/27
10:40am
San Diego, California
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Related: John McIntyre, a well-known copy editor at the Baltimore Sun, and a friend to AWWW, explains why they won’t be using the expression at that newspaper.

2012/10/27
1:24pm
New River, AZ, USA
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When I saw the subject of this thread I just had to read further. One of my pet peeves has always been the language used by these “talking heads” who like to pass themselves off as “meteorologists.” Few really have any formal scientific training. I can live with perfect storm, since it’s a term that has entered the general vocabulary since the popular movie of the same name, and has metaphorical applications in areas other than weather.

But I’m really tiring of hearing terms like Frankenstorm (for exactly the reasons given by larrfirr), inundated (overused, almost to the point of hyperbole), Appalachian (with a short third “a”), and lake effect snow (which is a real meteorological phenomena, but ignores the fact that there’s also mountain effect snow and jet stream effect snow). They never talk about those other effects, but I guess using the term lake effect makes them sound like they know more about weather than they actually do.

I watched the CNN “meteorologist” explain this Frankenstorm phenomenon last night. When Anderson Cooper asked some (good) questions about what that actually meant, the guy was clearly caught off-guard, tried to ad-lib, but had no idea what he was talking about.

Sorry for the rant. I guess that’s why I get most of my weather news from the excellent (and recently upgraded) NWS website.

2012/10/29
5:11am
Glenn
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I suspect we give too much credit — a folk etymology — to imply that it got that name because of the combination of different systems into a single storm. I think it more likely that they simply mean “a monster storm.”

Sorry for the mini-rant. At least it wasn’t a Mothrant!

2012/10/29
2:29pm
New River, AZ, USA
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Glenn said

Sorry for the mini-rant. At least it wasn’t a Mothrant!

OK, I always hesitate to do this and admit my density, but I am stumped by Mothrant. Only thing I could even guess was mini is opposite to Mothra (of Godzilla fame), and it was a poke at my rant which admittedly ran a bit long.

So I’ll bite … please explain Mothrant. I’m sure the ESL forum members will find it educational. I know I will.

2012/10/29
5:26pm
Dick
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Glenn said

Sorry for the mini-rant. At least it wasn’t a Mothrant!

The first thing I thought of was the product of a union between Mothra and Them.

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