1. To describe “unknown” events like Harvey, the U.S. is diving into the semantics of weather

    To describe “unknown” events like Harvey, the U.S. is diving into the semantics of weather

    As the rains kept falling, the superlatives flowed; then language itself was flooded. “Unprecedented.” “Unknown.” “Beyond anything experienced.” “One-thousand-year storm.” Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas called Harvey “one of the largest disasters America has ever faced.” How do you talk about something that’s never happened before, and effectively describe the risks that it poses to people, so that they might be motivated to prepare and respond?

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