Weather = bad weather

Charles C Doyle cdoyle at UGA.EDU
Wed Aug 14 12:17:53 UTC 2013

Aren't there countless examples of this process?   "She's running a temperature."  "We have a situation here."  "He's got an attitude."  Etc.

The process always seems to move the denotation in a negative direction.  Maybe euphemism is the original motive--but then the euphemism gets pejorated.

From: American Dialect Society [ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] on behalf of Laurence Horn [laurence.horn at YALE.EDU]
Sent: Monday, August 12, 2013 8:57 PM

On Aug 12, 2013, at 1:23 PM, Mark Mandel wrote:

> Parallel to "language" for "bad language", e.g. in movie descriptions, as
> in "Rated R for language in some scenes".
Or "substance" in "substance-free floors/dorms"

> On Thu, Aug 1, 2013 at 8:44 AM, W Brewer <brewerwa at> wrote:
>> German seems to have same same <weather> ~ <bad weather> thing. My
>> Cassell's has:  <Ein Wetter zieht sich zusammen> (A storm is gathering), as
>> well as mostly neutral cites. Within west Indo-European in general,
>> cognates' weather-meanings range from <neutral, windy, nasty>. pIE
>> *wedhrom.

The American Dialect Society -

More information about the Ads-l mailing list