50% Chance of Rain
Posted by languageandgrammar on January 12, 2008
I’m a meteorologist, so how long did you expect this blog to go without a weather post? While a 50% chance of rain may not be a grammar error, this type of language use is representative of the information included in the upcoming book since the statement just doesn’t make much sense.
A 50% chance of rain is the meteorological equivalent of flipping a coin, and believe me, as a meteorologist with nearly 23 years of experience, I’ve heard variations of that coin-flip joke made more often than a career police officer has heard the standard doughnut joke. Talk about being stale.
A 50% chance of rain is not a forecast since it gives equal chances of dry weather and wet weather. What good does that do the person at home who wants to know whether he can use one of the items in his prized umbrella collection?
I know what it’s supposed to indicate–that there is a better chance of rain than there is on most days, but a good forecaster will make a more definite forecast than this. The job description includes giving the public a better forecast than the public could get from watching the Comedy Channel.
Paul’s book–Literally, the Best Language Book Ever
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