Thursday, June 26, 2008

A Slightly Flawed Storm

Why does everyone have to say "it is a like a perfect storm" when they describe several things happening at once? It's like some kind of mental disease. If you want to explain that a situation is exacerbated by a confluence of negative events, then just come out and say it. There's a perfect storm of starvation causing factors in Somalia according to some guy on NPR. Salon quotes a 'noise pollution activist' saying "I pretty much live near a 'perfect storm' of noise pollution." There's a perfect storm--of storms in Ohio.

This was voted one of the most overused phrases of 2007 but it's even worse now. Maybe it's an activation word for hypnotized terrorist sleeper cells controlled by the Bavarian Illuminati and supported by Zionist postman cabals. With skyrocketing oil and food prices, the armed forces occupied in Iraq, a submissive Democratic congress, the lame duck president to end all lame ducks, and many other suspiciously coincidental events occurring in quick succession there will be no stopping them.


Little Earl said...

What? I kind of like "a perfect storm" myself. It comes in handy when you're trying to describe a situation that should have been extremely unlikely but, due to simultaneous bad luck on several fronts, ends up taking place. Like my life! No, seriously, there are way worse phrases being bandied about these days. What about "metrosexual"? I think my favorite usage of "perfect storm" would have to be in the South Park episode where the scientist warns that if the clouds of "smug" from San Francisco, South Park, and George Clooney's Oscar acceptance speech ever collide, it could be "the perfect storm...of self-satisfaction."

ninquelote said...

How was I so unaware of "a perfect storm" being the most overused, silly phrase of 2007? If someone came up to me and said that something was happening to them in "a perfect storm" like fashion, I would probably stomp their toes on principle alone.

For the record, I make fun of people who use the word metrosexual as well. There is only one sexual, and you either have it or you don't.

yoggoth said...

I'll have to disagree. "Perfect storm" is much worse than metrosexual. Metrosexual can be somewhat useful because people don't know what dapper means anymore. "Perfect storm" implies a relationship that doesn't exist. Why not just say that it's unlucky. People list 3 factors and then say "it's a perfect storm!" 3? What events are caused by less than 3 factors?

As used by most people the term is meaningless.

Peter Matthew Reed said...

Why do people say "it's like a mental disease" when referring to a perfectly regular cognitive process which they are attributing to a large mass of people? What with all these reactions to the cliched phraseology of regular people, and the likelihood of future impactful events, I expect a perfect storm of casual mental defect diagnosis.

yoggoth said...

Yes, I should have said, "it's like some kind of highly communicable disease." This would have more accurately conveyed my meaning.

Although, if so many people are using the term this might indicate that it isn't meaningless at all. After all, I'd much rather we refer to a perfect storm than an act of god, or some such phrase. Is this a newfound appreciation of complexity in the natural world?