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Storms add new spin to words in dictionary

Random thoughts after the departure of Hurricane Jeanne.

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We Floridians are developing a whole hurricane lexicon. Outsiders wouldn't understand us, but we know what we mean:

"Hunker down." The dictionary says that "hunker" means "to squat." Bah! It means to hide from a storm in the strongest dang building you can find.

"Got any juice?" We're talking electricity, not OJ. And if we don't have it, we're going to be cranky. Leave us alone.

"Shutters" aren't those useless decorations that hang beside our windows. They are big sheets of plywood or metal we put over our windows before the storm, take down and store after the storm, and put up again a week later. We're sick of this.

"We're in the cone." Meteorologists at the National Hurricane Center, when attempting to forecast the track of a hurricane, account for differences in the computer models' predictions and for the storms' wobbles by drawing the forecast track as a cone rather than a line. What we have learned from this year's unpredictable hurricane season is that if your location is "in the cone" now, it may not be eight hours from now. We've also noticed that every TV news station seems to draw its own version of the Hurricane Center's cone, and the versions don't always match. This is no help at all.

"It's time for the update." That would be the Tropical Update on the Weather Channel at 50 minutes after every hour. Yeah, I know you knew that already.

"How did you make out?" Hint: This has nothing to do with kissing.

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