Thursday, November 28, 2013

How Many Words for Snow?

So, we've had it: the first snow storm of the season.

Though we don't officially reach winter for more than three weeks, we in Canada typically think of late November as winter. Because, really, any time after November 1st, and on rare occasions, before, the snow can come to Ottawa, turning the city into a winter wonderland.

And yesterday's storm packed a good punch. Almost 25cm (almost 10 inches) of wet, heavy snow blanketed the city by the morning. It was a good cardio workout, clearing the driveway (and again, later, after the plow pushed a short wall back in.

I don't mind the snow too much, just as long as I have enough time in the morning to clear it, and the roads are plowed, for when I have to get somewhere. Luckily, for this dump, I was planning to work from home anyway.

But what gets me is how people seem to freak out at the prospect of snow, how the Twitterverse and radio were trying to come up with a name for the impending storm. All day, on Tuesday, I heard terms such as "Snowmageddon" or "The A-snow-calypse."

Seriously? For a measly 25cm?

Several years ago, in early March of 2008, Ottawa saw 56cm of snow fall in about 24 hours. That was a lot of snow. But 25cm is a typical amount of snow accumulation in many storms we experience over the winter season. In Ottawa, it's par for the course.

Do you know what I call yesterday's storm?

Winter. In Ottawa.

I wouldn't even have made up a name for that storm that left 56cm in my driveway. I would have just called it a pain in the ass.

Please, people. Don't make up stupid names for something that happens several times a season. In English, we have "snow storm" and we have "blizzard." The latter is worse than the former.

But it's not the end of the world.

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