Someone e-mailed me this morning. Subject line: Just another howl of despair. The text, paraphrased and shortened but only by a word or three: God I just f*cking hate this election.
Couldn’t have said it better myself. When people are in pain, they say “ouch.” Very succinct.
The last hot day for a while, I fear. We’re supposed to get rain tonight, and the temperature will fall by 10 degrees tomorrow. The radar picture on weather.com shows the squall line far to the west in Lake Michigan, just off the western Michigan shoreline, headed this way. I suspect it’ll hit around the time Ivan comes ashore down in the Gulf. Now that will be something, won’t it? The WashPost had a hurricane-bears-down-on-New-Orleans story today that was truly apocalyptic, with such phrases as “10,000 body bags” and “won’t be enough.” Now that the storm has re-aimed itself, it looks as though New Orleans will be spared the worst, but when you’re 10 feet below sea level, that may be a relative statement.
If you’re ever in New Orleans, try the muffuletta at the Napoleon House. Can’t be beat.
One of my colleagues and I have been trading journalese cliches over the desk the last couple weeks.
“Why are all bodies ‘badly decomposed’?” he’ll ask, scanning wire copy.
I’ll reply, “Why are all task forces ‘spearheaded’?”
“Why are all tackles ‘bone-crunching’?”
“Why do committees require ‘facilitators’?”
And so on. These last few weeks of hurricane coverage have provided lots of fodder. When you have so many so quickly, you run out of verbs: Pounded, lashed, drenched, battered. And nouns: Fury, force, punch. And adjectives: torrential, hellacious, howling. All storms “pack” winds, we noticed today. (“That’s because you can’t carry them on,” someone said. “They’re banned under TSA guidelines.”) We need some new words. Maybe this:
Hurricane Ivan assaulted the Gulf Coast today, flogging the coastline with waves and wind that scoured beaches, separated roofs from houses and dampened residents and structures alike.
Bloggage: Working in the newspaper business these days sometimes feels like you’re fighting a multi-front war. Tim Porter covers one skirmish.