Taking Stock - December 15, 2014

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If you’ve turned on the TV, listened to the radio or picked up any newspaper, including this one, you’ll no doubt now be familiar with the term ‘weatherbomb’.

Now, I for one am glad someone has found a more pointless, lengthier and frankly ridiculous way of saying winter.

But the English language, I’m not sure it’s ready for such a completely daft phrase.

It is, I’m very much afraid, a symptom of the modern world in which we live, where hyperbole rule.

It’s the world in which our lives are so safe and sanitised we need turn to the media for an injection of drama.

Take that glorified karaoke contest on Saturday night, where I’m pretty sure there will have been a dramatic pause of a minute or more before the result was... announced.

Like a microwave meal, it’s all rather manufactured – never quite enough to satisfy our appetite for the unpredictable.

And don’t think because you don’t watch reality television you’re not getting that daily dose of processed suspense.

The 24-hour news channels, which every week are finding ways to prove Brass Eye wasn’t a surreal comedy, more a troubling window into the future, are packed with it.

The news these days has more ‘gates’ than the Lake District – where there’s no middle ground between fine and dandy and full blown scandal.

That’s why there was a chap from Auntie standing on the Prom on Wednesday night, attempting to turn a run of the mill wet and windy evening into a pending disaster.

In the past we’d have passed in a corridor, nodded politely and muttered something about it being a bit breezy.

These days, there’s people in a flap about a ‘weatherbomb’, which they presume is one step down from the actual apocalypse.

I can tell you now, the ‘weatherbomb’ is nothing new – such storms have been battering us for years and there’s even a weather boffin term for them.

And, don’t you know, explosive cyclogenisis sounds exciting enough to me.