Monday, April 16, 2007

Why don't we just use the word "warm" to describe the weekend?

In case you missed it, it was warm here this past weekend. Very warm, in fact. But I would refrain from saying it was "hot," or "steaming," or "baking." Yet, that's exactly how most of the papers described it, complete with pictures of people cramming the beaches and eating ice cream as if it was facing a ban.
To which I say: COME ON! Honestly ...!
The highest U.K. temperature so far this year was set yesterday in Surrey, southern England—79.7°F (26.5°C, for those of you who prefer metric)—but that didn't stop The Daily Express and other papers from rounding up and splashing "80°!" across their front pages in 200-point bold face. Forgetting, of course, that most places in the U.K. had highs that were closer to 75 than 80. Yes, the sun was strong and yes, it was absolutely gorgeous outside. But it wasn't as if the mercury had topped 90 or anything! Why do the British always completely lose all sense of persepective on the first really warm day of the year?
It's not as if it hasn't happened before. April 2, 2001: 70° in London. April 3, 2002: 72° in London. Then there was April 17, 2003, a day I'll never forget: We actually did hit 80 degrees that day. Still, just because it's above average, all the papers have to hype it all up and pronounce the weather as "sizzling" or some such absurdity when it was nothing more than a perfectly nice, warm, sunny day! But if you were to read the papers today, you'd think the heat index had been through the roof!
Why do the English do this? I mean, Jesus-on-a-pogostick, even Canadians or Alaskans wouldn't react like this on a 75° day in April.
Of course, we're talking about the same race of people who are perfectly happy to use Celsius when the weather's really cold ("Cor, it was -2 degress this morning, didja know? Minus 2!"), yet will more-than-gladly switch to Fahrenheit to measure hot weather. ("Blimey, it must be 95 out 'ere!") Every other nation on Earth sticks to one system of temperature measurement, but the Brits will deliberately pick which one to use in order to make their weather sound more impressive.
We're assuming, of course, that any other person on planet Earth ever could be impressed by the ever-so-mundane British weather, but don't tell the Brits. Bless 'em, it's like wearing meteorological shoe lifts for most of them!

4 comments:

East of Eden said...

Heaven forbid any Brit should go to Phoenix in July, 120 anyone?

sid the kid said...

hey - anything over 20 degrees is considered a sizzler here!

Mouse1972 said...

Finally it's getting warm in Toronto. We had a mild winter up until mid January, and then we hit the deep freeze of temps up to minus thirty celsius. This weekend we are finally getting temperatures of up to plus twenty three celsius >^.^<

Nightdragon said...

73 F in the T-dot this weekend? Nice. It's 72 F (22 C) here at the moment (3 p.m., Sunday). And it's going to be near 70 F (21 C) all week long! Squirrel and I just bought a fan today in preparation for what we think could be a long, hot summer!

My mom told me last night that it's finally gotten warm in the Boston area too. And they deserve it after that big storm and cold spring they've had so far.