Wineka column: Down what terrible path will this naming of snowstorms take us?

  • Posted: Tuesday, February 12, 2013 1:27 a.m.

SALISBURY — If your weekend was spent “Finding Nemo,” then I guess you were watching The Weather Channel, which has decided that winter storms should have names.

The round-the-clock weather channel has had many other Greco-Roman names at the ready this winter, such as “Orko,” “Brutus,” “Virgil” and “Yogi.” “Zeus” also is waiting in the wings to be attached to a future blizzard.

I’m not sure how I feel about this.

Local television stations always struggle with what to name their winter weather events, whether they result in a dusting of snow or treacherous ice. They usually are left with something such as “Winter Blast 2013.”

So I can see how giving a human/mythological name to a storm event might help.

The Weather Channel offers these reasons: 1) Naming a storm raises awareness; 2) Attaching a name makes it easier to follow the storm’s progress; 3) A storm with a name takes on a personality all of its own; 4) With today’s social media, a name makes it easier to communicate. For example, “hashtagging a storm based on its name will provide a one-stop shop to exchange all of the latest information on the impending high-impact weather system”; 5) A named storm is easier to remember and reference to in the future.

Weather purists must be shaking their heads. Shouldn’t it be up to the National Weather Service to name storms? It has been doing it for hurricanes and tropical storms for eons. The meteorologists at the NWS can’t be happy The Weather Channel has declared itself the name-giver of winter storms.

Always one to be on the cutting edge, however, I have decided names should be attached to many other events.

So I hereby claim the copyright on these ideas:

Weddings: I’ve noticed that many of us are getting married and divorced three and four times in our lives. Why not name each wedding and every divorce? Your first could be “Wedding Curley” and “Divorce Moe.” Your second, “Wedding Monica” and “Divorce Chandler.” And so on.

On Twitter and Facebook, you could hashtag these various periods in your life — #curley, for example — and friends would know exactly the crazy marriage you’re talking about.

Games: The Duke-University of North Carolina basketball game is coming up this week. There have been so many of these rivalry games in the past — 234, to be exact — it’s hard to keep them sorted out. Why not give names to the games?

Instead of talking about “the game where Rivers shot a 3-pointer over Zeller as time ran out,” just attach a name at the beginning. You might have called that game “Magnus,” and all you would have to say this year is, “Remember Magnus?”

I dub this week’s game “Ashley.” (We’ll start with the letter “A.”) Something tells me that after Wednesday night I will be saying something like, “Ashley was a tramp.”

Bowel movements: No, let’s not go there.

Jobs: Haven’t I always heard a person graduating from college will have nine or 10 jobs in his lifetime?

So name them:

“You know Larry was the best job I ever had, but you couldn’t beat the benefits that came with Fred. I should have never left Florida for Henry up north.”

School work: Teachers wanting to create more interest among their students in long-range class projects or term papers should go with the name game. The instructor could say, “Project Rocky will require a 12-page report with a Power Point presentation and three interviews. Next semester, Apollo Creed will be 16 pages and include a 30-minute classroom Q&A.”

It’s funny how names for assignments fail to make school any more digestible.

Newspapers: I have seen some small newspapers run a photograph of one of their subscribers on each day’s front page as a way of saying thank you to loyal readers. Every day, it is someone different.

I would like to take the next logical step and name each day’s edition for a subscriber, picture included. So the masthead would no longer say Salisbury Post, rather it would be the “Jim Miller,” followed by the “Daisy Mae Alexander,” the “Ned Graham,” the “Susie Maloney” and so on.

We would just keeping renaming our paper each day until we ran out of subscribers.

That day may come sooner than later, with ideas such as this one. But at least we’d have personality.

Contact Mark Wineka at 704-797-4263 or

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