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Thursday, September 16, 2004

Thinking back...

I recall the days when all hurricanes were named for women. Well, not for specific women, but specifically names of the female gender. In grade school there was the old joke... why are all hurricanes given names of women? Answer, of course... Who ever heard of a himacane? I'm sure quite a few of you are familiar with that oldie.

I've often wondered what was the basis for the political correctness in this meteorological jargon? How was it an industry that likely was so male orientated came to make this change? I have no specific figures on the makeup of the profession, but in the mid to late 1960's I was in the national severe storms forecast center in Kansas City, Missouri on numerous occasions and I don't recall seeing many women. Sure that was a long time ago and things may have changed in the industry.

Not that any of this is earth shaking. The question is simply a little nagging twist of my brain. It is not near as important as when the troops get to come home or how people beat up by Charlie, Frances and now Ivan will manage to keep the faith and pull themselves back together. But I do wonder. And that is the great thing... we can still wonder about the trivial things that happen in our language.
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