fb pixel

Log In

Reset Password

Since You Asked: It's difficult to predict what we'll call them

To be more neutral, writers are now using "police officer" instead of "policeman" and "firefighter" instead of "fireman."

What is the accepted replacement for "weatherman?" "Weather taker" or "weather predictor" do not seem to fit. Are there other he/she words that your writers struggle with to keep clear of the politically correct crowd?

— Larry S., Jacksonville

That's one mean-spirited crowd full of foul-weather fiends that we strive to avoid, Larry.

Of course, there are those who operate under the premise that you don't have to be a weatherman — or woman — to know which way the wind is blowing.

We like weather forecaster, though prognosticator carries a bit more weight, particularly when a storm is blowing in from the Pacific.

And meteorologist is good in any weather, albeit the folks at the American Meteorology Society define a meteorologist as someone working in the field of weather forecasting who has gained a sufficient amount of coursework in meteorology. That would be three years of full-time experience if that person doesn't have a bachelor's degree in the science of weather forecasting.

One of the major changes we've made in recent decades to avoid that angry crowd is referring to a person speaking for a group as either the "spokesman" or "spokeswoman." Spokesperson seemed too impersonal.