Sunday, April 15, 2007

Gale Force Winds

All day yesterday DLang was talking about the "big Nor'easter" rolling in that was forecast to bring us "rain, sleet, snow, and gale force winds." He said "gale force winds" about 4 times before I finally called him on it.

"You really like saying 'gale force,' don't you?"

"I do!" He switched to his Fox News annoucer voice: "There will be gale force winds!" For the rest of the day, everything was subject to being blown over by "gale force winds":

"Those are nice daffodils."

"Too bad they won't be here tomorrow, because they can't stand up to GALE FORCE WINDS!"

"That's a big pylon."

"Not big enough to withstand GALE FORCE WINDS!"

DLang also mentioned that one of his reasons for liking the phrase is that it involves a hyphens, and he likes hyphens. (It's amazing the little things you can learn about someone years into your relationship.) I have bad news on that front: There's no hyphen. It's just "gale force."

While I'm kind of annoyed that Spring is taking so long to get here, I was secretly excited about such a storm because I love extreme weather. However, it looks like we might be out of luck for the big Nor'easter - it's raining, but (thankfully!) not close to freezing. That's kind of a bummer for you, UFF reader, as I had all sorts of clever posts (well, titles at least) ready to accompany photos of Brooklyn blanketed in snow today. Like, "April Showers?" and "Sometimes It Snows in April."

Oh well, maybe next year.


HBY said...

There is a hyphen...only it couldn't stand up to the GALE FORCE WINDS!

(hyphen being carried off)

Bob Bannister said...

I think the question of when to hyphenate an adjectival noun phrase (which I have arbitrarily decided is the best way to designate this) is subject to rules of customary usage which are not quite as hard and fast as other grammatical rules - check this Web site which in turn cites the Texas Law Review Manual of Style and the Chicago Manual of Style as its authorities. The hyphen is called for when there is potential for ambiguity ("large print paper" is their example), but "gale force winds" probably does not need it under that rule.

themikestand said...

Up (and over) here, the fishermen and sailors just say "it's blowing a gale", which sounds more like "blownagale".

And are you going to tell me that pylon is a Canadianism? If so, a whole lot of people didn't get that Lays Potato Chips commercial where Mark Messier's shinny team is called The Pylons. Or possibly it only aired in Canada, and we all understood just fine.