Saturday, December 23, 2006

Weather forecasters

Am I alone in being irritated by BBC weather forecasters these days? They used to be authoritative individuals, but they now seem to consist of persistently pregnant women and clearly gay men, who employ a variety of pat phrases, and the same techniques used by politicians to cover up a lack of knowledge. I always liked the way that Patrick Moore, on The Sky at Night, would admit "Well, we don't really know," in those cases where astronomers genuinely didn't know or understand something. Weather forecasters never do this. Faced in the past week with the inherently unpredictable phenomenon of fog, BBC weather forecasters could be heard saying "The fog is likely to continue for some time." Well, 'likely to' covers everything between 'impossible to happen' and 'certain to happen', and 'some time' means 'more than no time', so this phrase actually means 'It is somewhere between impossible and certain that the fog will continue for more than no time'.

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