[Ads-l] "storm-chase", v.

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Thu May 17 20:37:37 EDT 2018

This is another one of those back-formations that’s really more specialized than the phrase it replaces.  A young woman, didn’t catch her name, was describing her adventures atop Sleeping Giant Park in here Hamden, CT, where she got amazing photos (shown on the news segment) of the storm hitting the area around the stone tower in the park where she was waiting out the storm (high winds, rain, tornadoes).  She acknowledged that it was the scariest experience she had ever had, but it was also a real rush, and when she was asked if she would do it again she replied 

“If the opportunity ever presented itself, I would drop what I was doing and storm-chase”

As I read it, to storm-chase is not just to chase storms but to apply one’s skill, in particular photographic skill, to track down major and ideally life-threatening storms, i.e. to engage in storm-chasing:
"the pursuit of any severe weather condition, regardless of motive, which can be curiosity, adventure, scientific investigation, or for news or media coverage”.   

I could chase storms as an amateur, but that in itself wouldn’t qualify me as a storm-chaser, or as having storm-chased.

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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