Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Weathering Words

Everyone wants to know the weather. We want to know if it will be hot or cold tomorrow, what to wear and the forecast. Just as most news shows resort to "common" language, I would expect the same when I watch a weather report that's part of the same program.

Evening news shows favor words like "occurred" instead of “happened” and "said again" instead of "reiterated" - to ensure that any viewer, regardless of background or education, can "comprehend" or should I say, "understand" the news. So why can't the weather people do the same?

Turn on any newscast and you'll hear your local weather personality telling you about cold fronts, minimal precipitation, wind content, translinear cloud graphs, saturation and a million other words that I don't need to know in order for preparing for tomorrow. All I care to know is will it be hot or cold tomorrow and what's the temperature? Just the basic information is sufficient for the weather, while the news of the day could use further elaboration and detail.

I hardly have enough time as it is, and the amount of my time that the average weather report demands, is simply too overwhelming. If news directors took more time away from weatherman, and designated that block of time to reporters or anchors, the news of the day would be more thorough and developed – and I would still know what to wear for tomorrow. I assume most people watching the news are not meteorologists.



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