Nareed
Nareed
Joined: Nov 11, 2009
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December 15th, 2010 at 2:24:22 PM permalink
Quote: ItsCalledSoccer

2. Reporters say things like, "There's a possible tornado ..." There's either a tornado or there's not; they should say, "There's possibly a tornado ..."



I think the correct term would be "There's a potential tornado." This refers to a storm or weather system that might turn into a tornado.

WhenI play hold 'em poker, though, if I have a 9 and 10 of the same suit, I think "possible straight flush." Of course that's a sentence fragment lacking a subject :P

Oh, and if you disagree with a fact, and especially if you think you can change it, you're a politician.
Donald Trump is a fucking criminal
Nareed
Nareed
Joined: Nov 11, 2009
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December 15th, 2010 at 2:30:24 PM permalink
Quote: avargov

ATM machine and PIN number make me want to open my veins...



What do you call the use of "ATM machine"? Or for that matter a CSI investigator.

Here's the worst one, though, and in Spanish:

Banco BBVBA Bancomer, or Banco Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria Banco de Comercio. Translated it reads "Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria Bank Bank Commerce Bank." I kid you not.
Donald Trump is a fucking criminal
ItsCalledSoccer
ItsCalledSoccer
Joined: Aug 30, 2010
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December 15th, 2010 at 2:45:03 PM permalink
Quote: Nareed

I think the correct term would be "There's a potential tornado." This refers to a storm or weather system that might turn into a tornado.



I think the understanding is the same and it's just the way the vernacular has landed, but I think *technically* the problem is the same. A tornado is a thing; it's either there or it's not there. I think it would be accurate to say, "There's potentially a tornado ..."

But yeah, the common usage and meaning are what you describe. I was just railing against common usage and vernacular!
Nareed
Nareed
Joined: Nov 11, 2009
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December 15th, 2010 at 3:24:59 PM permalink
Quote: ItsCalledSoccer

But yeah, the common usage and meaning are what you describe. I was just railing against common usage and vernacular!



Potential is used much more as a noun than an adjective. As in "he shows great potential." Well, maybe. But, potential for what? Of course the common usage is understood, much in the same way as "She shows great promise," or "The Jets are the most promising team in the NFL."

So, yes, the tornado is either there or it isn't. But a tornado precursor is a potential tornado. The same way an apple seed is a potential apple tree. The seed will become a tree if certain conditions are met (it's palnted, watered and fertilized). Therefore "potential tornado" is correct.
Donald Trump is a fucking criminal

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