"Hast thou entered into the treasures of the snow? or hast thou seen the treasures of the hail,
Which I have reserved against the time of trouble, against the day of battle and war?" (Job 38:22-23)
Today (Sunday, February 1, 2015) is not only "Super Bowl Sunday", but for those of us living in the northeastern United States, it's another day in which we're hearing numerous weather forecasts calling for a major snowstorm to begin late tonight and last until the early morning hours of Tuesday. One report I saw on-line is calling for a "significant snowfall". That word "significant" makes me think of something I heard on a radio broadcast several years ago. At that time, the weather reports were calling for a "significant snowfall". Radio talk show host Jay Severin (who is quite a purist when it comes to English grammar) pointed out that the phrase "significant snowfall" is really not correct. Severin stated that the correct phrase should be "substantial snowfall". I realize this information may sound quite picky, and in a sense, it is. Jay Severin explained that "significant snowfall" means that the snowfall would (grammatically speaking) have to signify something. What would it signify? That's unclear. Honestly, I do think Severin had a valid point. So often our common usage of the English language is actually incorrect! The sad reality is, we regularly use incorrect terms and incorrect phrases; in time we do that so often that the incorrect phrases catch on and become the norm! (This has happened, for instance, with the expression: "I could care less!". In fact, the grammatically correct phrase is: "I couldn't care less!". It has also happened with the usage of the words "apology" and "apologize". Most people think that apologizing means "saying you're sorry". It doesn't. An "apology" is actually a defense of something!)
I know that (ecologically speaking) winter snow is actually very important. A winter with very little snow [such as the winter of 2011-2012 in Massachusetts] is very enjoyable for people like me who dislike snow. Yet, a snowless winter often means a drought for the summer and harm done to plants and animals. I'm not excited about the substantial snowfall that's expected to come our way in just a few hours! Nor am I excited about the significant snowfall that's expected to come our way in just a few hours! In my ideal fantasy world, the calendar would jump from November 30 to March 1 and we'd skip December, January, and February entirely! The reality is, of course, that in New England, we're all in this "snow and cold" and "winter" thing together, whether we like it or not!
Please be safe in this upcoming storm. Pray for the Lord's protection. I do!
And, what do you think? Was Jay Severin off base? Are you more comfortable hearing about a "significant snowfall" or a "substantial snowfall" or does it really matter?