Here we go!

The U.S. National Hurricane Center is warning that Hurricane Dorian could grow to a massive Category 3 storm by Sunday night and will likely blast the east coast of Florida before moving inland.

It will come as no surprise to regular readers that I’ve been following Dorian in my spare time. The forecast path has shifted around a bit since it strengthened into a storm and now hurricane.

Let’s look at the quote– which just happened to be the first mention I’d seen in popular online media.

“[M]assive Category 3 storm.” What is meant by the adjective “massive”? Category 3 is well defined:

Officially, the Saffir–Simpson hurricane wind scale is based on the highest average wind over a one-minute time span and used only
to describe hurricanes that form in the Atlantic Ocean and northern Pacific Ocean east of the International Date Line.

That infallible source.

Again, what work does “massive” do in that sentence? It can’t relate to wind speeds b/c those are defined. Is a Cat 4 massiver, and Cat 5 massivest relative to a massive Cat 3? Or does massive relate to the area the storm covers? If so, why not say that?

Why not? because the work “massive” does is to add emotion to the sentence. “A Category 3 hurricane of large are” or more precisely, “A Category 3 hurricane covering X# square miles” just doesn’t sound panic-y enough now does it?

Ah well. I have a massive amount of work to finish before college football season gets into swing.

2 Responses

Comments are closed.