Jeremy's Weblog

I recently graduated from Harvard Law School. This is my weblog. It tries to be funny. E-mail me if you like it. For an index of what's lurking in the archives, sorted by category, click here.

Saturday, September 25, 2004

Why do hurricanes get names, but earthquakes don't?

Actually, why do hurricanes get names, but nothing else does? Doesn't every disaster deserve a name?

"I've got a terrible cold."
"Yeah, Olga's been going around this season."
"No, it's not Olga. I dealt with her last week. This is Pauline, I think."
"They say Rhonda the Plague may be heading our way on Friday."
"That's terrible."

And not even natural disasters. Why can't we name all sorts of bad things that happen to us?

"Tina is only a few weeks away."
"Oh, you mean the final exam?"
"No, I mean my friend Tina, coming to visit."
"Oh. But also the final exam, right?"
"Yeah. And the hurricane."
"It sure gets confusing when everything that happens in our lives gets a name."
"Yes, it's unfortunate that way. It was easier when it was just hurricanes."

And I guess that's the problem. It would get too confusing. But then why even name hurricanes? Why not just say there's a hurricane coming? It's not like we're ever talking about 6 of them at once and can't keep track. One comes, it goes away, we don't have to refer to it anymore. What makes hurricanes more special? Aren't tornadoes just as bad? But no one says Tornado Jack just hit down in Kansas, unless some guy named Jack went to Kansas and messed up someone's living room.

I don't get it.