I'm not keen on anthropomorphizing nature, a tendency best left to nineteenth-century poets: Shelley, Wordsworth, that element.
So I grit my teeth and endure the National Weather Service's practice of naming tropical storms and hurricanes. It's a well-established tradition, and at least the weather service has started using male as well as female names, and the Associated Press Stylebook has long since frowned on calling storms and ships "she."*
But the Weather Channel's whim to name winter storms, including the one buffeting the Northeast today, strikes me as a crass and inept attempt to gin up publicity for itself while whipping up public excitement over the weather. A mere marketing gimmick.
Really, do you want to wind up saying that you lost your house in Xerxes?
I don't call the wind "Maria," and I'm not calling today's storm "Nemo."
*See, I don't always slap the AP Stylebook around.
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