That other over used phrase

This is an overdue update.

It’s the result of “a perfect storm” of committments.  I had a quiz and a programming assignment both due Monday morning for my graduate class. I was recruiting someone to work with me, and I had a number of projects due for work. I had a variety of committments in general: family obligations, social obligations, … I had to breathe … all that inhaling … and exhaling too!

Hmm, there’s nothing really very perfect nor very stormy about that at all, is there?  I just haven’t gotten around to it.

I did actually have a post written re: my grandfather’s birthday on the 16th and related thoughts, but I’ve decided not to post it.  (As I’m typing over it now to make this post.)

So, again, there’s really no meteorological excuse, I just didn’t post.

But that phrased gets used a lot, doesn’t it:  “a perfect storm”?

The origins aren’t hard to get.  It’s more than that fishing boat movie from a number of years ago, but it basically refers to a combinations of events which by themselves probably wouldn’t produce a specific result, yet the fact that a group of these events occur together yields a particular outcome.

Here are some examples from today’s newspapers:

From the NY Daily News:

“The recent foreclosure and refinancing crisis, following a sharp increase in home values created a perfect storm for these housing scammers to swoop in and fleece homeowners,” Schumer declared.


Yes, W. unified the right, but thanks to a perfect storm: the Clinton impeachment, weak Gore campaign, many GOP governors and state houses, Congressional command, and Karl Rove’s one-time brilliance – plus a compliant Supreme Court.

From the Oakland Tribune:

High staff turnover and the resulting lack of institutional memory complicated the situation, district spokesman Troy Flint said. Those responsible for overseeing the district’s finances during the early years of the state takeover long since have left the crumbling administration building.

“It was kind of a perfect storm of instability, which resulted in flawed business practices,” Flint said.

From the

John Beddington, chief science adviser to the British government, warned in March that climate change and population growth together could produce a “perfect storm” of devastating food, water and energy shortages by 2030.

The phrase is just outright overused. And it sensationalizes (often where it shouldn’t).

I was just too busy to make a post until now.  I will again soon, though. Unless a flawless meteorological event prevents me from doing so.

Contributed by: Scott Copperman


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