In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review April 20, 2007 / 2 Iyar 5767

Media falls in love with a new scare word: When did big, bad storms suddenly become ‘Nor'easters’?

By Greg Crosby

Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | It wasn't a storm. It wasn't a tempest. It wasn't a hurricane and it wasn't a typhoon. It wasn't a torrential rainfall. It wasn't a squall either and it most certainly wasn't a thundersquall. No, the news services were very specific about what to call the big rain that hit the eastern seaboard this week — it was a NOR'EASTER. As a matter of fact the AP headlines read:

"Powerful Nor'easter Pounds Northeast"

Nor'easter pounds Northeast, nice alliteration huh? Nor'easter. Funny, and I would have thought it was only a huge storm. It just goes to show you just how wrong you can be. But you can't really blame me. From the pictures I saw in the papers and on television it sure looked like a storm — a really bad one. Hundreds of people were evacuated, they said. Thousands more were without power. Teeming rain drenched the Northeast with a record rainfall that caused mudslides, washouts and flooded streets. 1,400 New Jersey residents were evacuated because of flooding. Boats were sunk, large trees fell, and many people were stranded. Nine people were killed. It sure looked like a huge storm. No. It was a NOR'EASTER.

The National Weather Service said that the rain totaled 8.21 inches in suburban White Plains from early Sunday to Monday morning, with close to 8 inches in New York City's Central Park. The previous Central Park record for April 15 was just 1.8 inches, set in 1906. Eliot, Maine, got nearly 7 inches. Snow fell in many inland areas, including 17 inches in Vermont. Pounding waves completely covered the beach at Hampton Beach, N.H. Wind gusts to more than 80 mph toppled trees on highways in Maine. Big storm, huh? Nope. NOR'EASTER.

Up until the last couple of years or so I only heard the term "nor'easter" used in those old movies where a crusty retired sea captain who is now the local lighthouse man (usually played by Walter Brennan or Arthur Hunnicutt) screems out to the coastal villagers, "I'm a-tellin' ya right now — you folks had betteh batten down them shutters and git into them storm cellahs afore mid-day 'cause we got a nor'easer a-blowin up an' she's a-gonna rip this heah town eveh which way but right!" Now nor'easter isn't just for New England sea captains anymore. The media has discovered the term "nor'easter" and they love it.

Whenever the media falls in love with a new word or phrase it stirs my curiousity, and so I thought I'd look the word up for myself. Here's what I found:

The term "nor'easter" comes to American English by way of British English and the points of the compass and wind or sailing direction. According to the Oxford English Dictionary (OED), the first recorded use in the English language of the term "nore" ("north") in association with the points of the compass and wind direction is by Dekker in 1612 ("How blowes the winde Syr?" "Wynde! is Nore-Nore-West."), with similar uses occurring in 1688 (". . . Nore and Nore-West . . .") and in 1718 (". . . Nore-west or Nore-nore-west."). These recorded uses are predated by use of the term "noreast," first recorded as used by Davis in 1594 ("Noreast by North raiseth a degree in sayling 24 leagues.").

According to the OED, the first recorded use of the term "nor'easter" occurs in 1836 in a translation of Aristophanes. The term "nor'easter" naturally developed from the historical spellings and pronunciations of the compass points and the direction of wind or sailing. Aha! The term does most definitely have a nautical derivation. No wonder it was used by all those old sea captains in all those old movies.

Common coastal New England pronunciation (both seafaring and not) for "nor'easter" is "naw-THEE-stuh" (like "LOB-stah" for "lobster"). See? It's a Percy Kilbride word. I knew it! A word that would feel right at home on any episode of "Murder She Wrote."

For years and years, Edgar Comee, of Brunswick, Maine, waged a single-minded war against use of the term "nor'easter" by the press, which usage he considered "a pretentious and altogether lamentable affectation" and "the odious, even loathsome, practice of landlubbers who would be seen as salty as the sea itself." His efforts, which included mailing out hundreds of postcards, were chronicled, just before his death at the age of 88, in "The New Yorker" magazine. Despite Mr. Comee's gallant efforts, not to mention the efforts of many others, use of the term continues by the press. More than ever.

I go along with Mr. Comee in thinking that the use of the term by the press (and now the greater media) is pretentious and loathsome. But after all that's the media in a nutshell, isn't it? It seems that more than ever, for the media, being loathsome and pretentious is job number one.

I still think what happened this week on the east coast was a big storm. And since I am neither a seafaring old salt, nor a New England old timer, I will not use the term "nor'easter" to describe a big storm. I'll leave the "nor'easters" to the character actors of the 30's and the characters in the newsrooms of today.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor Greg Crosby, former creative head for Walt Disney publications, has written thousands of comics, hundreds of children's books, dozens of essays, and a letter to his congressman. A freelance writer in Southern California, you may contact him by clicking here.

Greg Crosby Archives

© 2006, Greg Crosby