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March 8, 2007
Windy weather words

Reader reaction has been strong to the Media Savvy column two weeks ago about TV weather.

But just our analyzing the accuracy of forecasts wasn't enough for devoted Ron Muth.

"My one regret is that you did not comment on the forecasters' ability to deliver their messages intelligently," Muth tells us. "I had hoped you were going to comment on the forecasters' presentations, whether or not you agreed with my perspective....

"I am keenly interested in clear, concise, cogent reports. If I did not know better, I would swear reporters' earnings relate to the number of words they use rather than the quality of their words."

In an e-mail, Muth then deconstructs the verbiage of local TV weather people. Here's an excerpt, with the TV weather comment in bold face and Muth's reaction in italics:

"Let’s go ahead and take a look at the temperatures for today...."
Today’s temperatures were....

"The current temperatures outside are...."
Thank goodness they clarified they are reporting on the temperatures outside and not inside my home or their studio.

"Temperature-wise, weather-wise, etc., today’s temperatures were...." I could just scream when I hear that inane phrase.

"As we go through the day tomorrow (or weekend)...."
When exactly is that time? How can you plan activities to avoid bad weather? How about saying, “Tomorrow morning, evening, all day, etc., the weather will be?

Repeating the word “area”....
Once per report is enough already! We know their report is for the Sacramento area.

"The winds will begin to diminish...."
UGH! (Say) less wind tomorrow, or simply report the wind speeds for each day and we can figure it out.

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