One of the things I always work on when I’m writing is my word choices.  I want to make sure I enlist the aid of nuances to create the feelings I want the reader to feel.

Another winter storm is about to hit Atlanta and the words selected to describe it have an impressive nuance. From (their italics):

“Confidence is increasing in an event of historical proportions.”

“Expect significant–crippling–ice…”

From Governor Nathan Deal: It’s expected to be a storm of catastrophic proportions.

It’s so bad that they’ve named it “Winter Storm Pax.”  A named winter storm?  When did that happen?

I’m looking out my window.  It doesn’t look so bad. Snow is melting, roads are wet but clear.  Is it possible that it can all fall apart by this time tomorrow?

My city in an ice storm.
My city in an ice storm.

Aside: It’s easy to make fun of Atlanta for over reacting to an ice storm, but have you ever actually lived through an ice storm in Atlanta?  It’s not pretty.  Laugh at us if you will for moaning about 30 degrees when it’s 8 in New Hampshire, but its not nearly as funny when the ice has taken out the power and you have no heat for 4 days.  I’m just sayin’.

2 responses to “Word choices and a winter storm”

  1. deborahbrasket Avatar

    I live in California, so an ice storm is way out of my comfort range, nothing I’d make fun of. We’re afraid to drive on the freeways here when it’s raining–for real (although rain is what we are praying for now). Yes, word choices. I like the word “crippling” and “ice” together–feels so savage. But Pax??? Doesn’t that mean “peace”?


    1. bethwarstadt Avatar

      Deborah, it does indeed mean peace, and if you could see out your window what I am seeing right now you would know that it is totally appropriate. Not for what it has done to the city, of course; that is a mess. But for my neighborhood? It is heaven on earth.
      By the way, I’ve been stuck in traffic in Los Angeles. I can only imagine what chaos a real, messy rain storm would do out there. I recommend staying home until it passes like we do when it snows. 🙂


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