Perfect storm, not negative

Benjamin Barrett gogaku at IX.NETCOM.COM
Sat May 17 17:42:03 UTC 2008

Benjamin Zimmer has the below two citations for "perfect storm" (

"Overused by the pundits on evening TV shows to mean just about any
coincidence." – Lynn Allen, Warren, Michigan.

"I read that 'Ontario is a perfect storm,' in reference to a report on
pollution levels in the Great Lakes. Ontario is the name of one of the
lakes and a Canadian province. This guy would have me believe it's a
hurricane. It's time for 'perfect storm' to get rained out." – Bob
Smith, DeWitt, Michigan.

All the examples I see cited in ADS citations as well as the second
one above use "perfect storm" to mean something bad.

The AP carried a story today (written by Stevenson Jacobs) with a
positive meaning (

"It's the perfect storm in that Big Brown has the right name and cast
around him to not only promote the sponsor but the sport in general,"
said Keith Chamblin, senior vice president of communications for the
National Thoroughbred Racing Association.

Simply a big coincidence. BB

The American Dialect Society -

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