I’ve seen a bit of chatter on here about the naming conventions for cyclones/hurricanes in the US/Caribbean – and, in particular, how these may possibly be both sexist AND ineffectual, on grounds that the average American apparently finds storms with female names less threatening [thus leading to reduced readiness, and often a higher death toll for “female” storms].
Well, I’ve got a simple solution. Bring some Indo-European into it. Start naming your absolutely immense impending cyclonic [etc.] events after the old Indo-European Storm Deities [or, potentially, some of Their adversaries of an arguably similar function – it’s one way by which we got the modern word “Typhoon”, after all].
The advantage of this is that not only do the very words themselves carry, on an instinctual level, the sort of sense of impending terror and destruction which one presumably WANTS to get across when naming a potential natural disaster … but in the Trailer-Park States wherein Southern Deep Fried Christianity leads to a basal loathing of Non-Judeo-Christian religions … thus leading to them often quite literally thinking of our Gods as ‘Demons’ *anyway* [seriously – see some of the reactions to the time the US Congress was opened with a Hindu prayer] … there’s therefore probably a greater chance that an array of these folks will WANT to get out of the path of the storm instead of sticking it out in the ‘crumple-zone’.
I mean, think about it. “Hurricane Irma is coming” just sounds like a slightly elderly Aunt is dropping in to pay a visit.
“CYCLONE MAHAVATYA RUDRA, THE ROARING ONE, IS BEARING DOWN UPON US IN ALL *HIS* AWE-FUL MIGHT, PRECEDED BY THE ARMY OF MARUTS AND ACCOMPANIED BY THE TWIN WOLVES OF SARVA & BHAVA” … well, I know I’m a bit biased about this, for obvious reasons, but I think that sounds at least a *little* bit more intimidating, no?
[Author’s Note: this piece was written about a year ago; it has been republished here because it seemed like a good idea at the time]