I’m possibly sure about this

OK, the copy editor in me wants to throw a dictionary toward the heads over at the National Weather Service, and at MSNBC for repeating it. They came out with this gem this morning in their coverage of Hurricane Ike:

... The National Weather Service warned that people not heeding evacuation orders in low-lying parts of the coast “may face certain death” and that many homes on the coast will be destroyed….

Well, make up your mind. If residents in Galveston might face death, fine. If the weather service is certain people will die , that’s good to know, too. But to tell someone you’re facing possible certain death just implies they aren’t really that certain. Which, for weather forecasters, may be as good as it gets.


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