June 1, 2016

The haboob in Texas.

Texans object to the National Weather Service's use of an Arabic-derived word for sandstorm.
Haboob!?! I’m a Texan. Not a foreigner from Iraq or Afghanistan. They might have haboobs but around here in the Panhandle of TEXAS, we have Dust Storms. So would you mind stating it that way. I’ll find another weather service.

75 comments:

tim in vermont said...

Don't these know nothings in Texas know that they are just being taught how to be better human beings?!? Dust Storm is a racist term and should be abolished! These people need to have their noses rubbed in the fact that they are hillbillies of the lowest degree and we will miss no opportunity to do it, even if it means abandoning English words for Arabic ones even when everybody already knew and agreed on the meaning of the English word!!!

traditionalguy said...

Sharia weather reports. That no boundaries stuff is here.

tim in vermont said...

Actually "hadoobs" were retroactively predicted to appear about now by the climate models, so shut up deniers!

Greg Hlatky said...

Calling it a haboob is cultural appropriation.

Real American said...

That should make the mooooooslems feel better

traditionalguy said...

What a way to go. Smothered by a huge-Boob.

AJ Lynch said...

I say ISIS, you [Obama] say ISIL.

Steve said...

It's a sirocco in a tea cup.

richlb said...

It's cultural appropriation to use the term "Haboob".

Tee hee hee.... BOOB....

rehajm said...

We'll only give you 'haboob' if we can keep 'illegal immigrant'...

JPS said...

I love the sneeringly condescending rejoinders in the linked article to every comment they quote. Ha, ha, they're so ignorant or xenophobic if they don't want to call it that! Guess they don't know we borrow lots of foreign words in English!

What if I just prefer an English term we already have over a foreign term someone suddenly decided to start using here? Does the fact that I've borrowed some foreign words mean I need to welcome them all, every time my betters spring them on me, lest some supercilious Brit think I'm a'feard of them furriners?

JPS said...

AJ Lynch:

"I say ISIS, you [Obama] say ISIL."

Obama also says PAH-ki-STAHN, but strangely he makes no effort to pronounce Afghanistan authentically.

Mark said...

They have been called that by folks in Arizona for quite a while. My parents introduced me to the term on my first visit to their retirement home 10+ years ago.

Do conservatives now need a safe space where they won't hear any words their delicate sensibilities find upsetting?

Dear West Texas, grow a pair. Word policing is tiresome whether from left or right.

MadisonMan said...

There's actually a difference between a haboob -- generated by a single collapsing thunderstorm downdraft -- and a dust storm (a wider-scale phenomenon). But I don't know how widely that is applied among meteorologists.

Hagar said...

A haboob is a bit different from a normal dust storm.

Char Char Binks said...

We best get them dogies in the corral and hunker down fer a spell. I reckon we're in for one hell of a haboob!

Fernandinande said...

"They might have haboobs but around here in the Panhandle of TEXAS, we have Dust Storms."

He is correct. Most dictionaries define the silly word - if they even have it - as a dust storm in some fucked-up country.

Bob Boyd said...

In a dust storm the wind blows the dust up.
In a haboob the dust blows itself up.

The Drill SGT said...

the purpose of a weather alert is to alert.

as such, it should be using the local term for the weather event.

Carol said...

I still can't get used to the "Monsoonal moisture" thing they started years ago. Monsoons are in se asia by God!

and graupel..who the hell came up with that

tim maguire said...

Mark said...Do conservatives now need a safe space where they won't hear any words their delicate sensibilities find upsetting?

No, they just have a language they like to use properly. If the point of a weather broadcast is to communicate weather information, then it is unprofessional to deliberately use language unfamiliar to the audience. Especially when there is a perfectly serviceable word that is familiar to the audience.

Or do you think that the primary purpose of the Weather Service is, like NASA, to make Muslims feel more comfortable and accepted?

Diamondhead said...

"They have been called that by folks in Arizona for quite a while."

West Texans don't take their cues from Arizona retirees?

Diamondhead said...

National Weather Service: A Möglichkeit of rain in Dallas today.

Paddy O said...

Any wind from the east should be called a Santa Ana. What you don't call them that?! Rube.

Birches said...

They did this in AZ awhile ago. I think it makes weather TV personalities feel important. It's still a dust storm to me.

Alexander said...

Jeez it's just one little word, but fine, fine, is this better for you?

The Kafirs of Lubbock, Dar al-Harb are experiencing a dust storm.

No harm done, eh?

--

Meanwhile, its pretty much Hitler to use such hatewords like Bombay when discussing a city in India or for one white friend to call another an amigo.

Mark said...

West Texans now getting Arizona type storms should use the proper term for that type of storm. Vocabulary isn't that hard to learn.

Conservative political correctness is still politically correct speech policing which is bullshit whether from elephant or ass.

Unknown said...

this brings to mind the report that the pga is leaving trumps doral golf course for mexico city. seems like some American organizations don't actually know who their audience bread and butter is lately and they continue to kowtow to the diversity forces. no offense but plenty of golf viewers will be fed up with pga too. very hard to comprehend what the point of America is if not for americans.

tim maguire said...

Mark, I see you're trying, I give you points for that, but you're not getting closer. The commonly understood term IS the proper term. Whether you're an elephant or an ass.

You can want haboob to be the right word all you want, but if it's not what the word the audience uses, then it's not the right word. Shall I, in my next statement, use a different language for each word and then make fun of you if you struggle understanding it? After all, vocabulary isn't hard to learn, is it?

R. Chatt said...

"Haboobs are distinct from ordinary blowing dust because of the thick dust shoveled upward--sometimes more than half a mile--by the relatively cool, dense air at the leading edge. After a haboob’s front edge moves past a given location, the airborne dust quickly abates. In contrast, blowing dust refers more generally to the situation where hours of strong wind can kick up broad areas of reduced visibility, often for hours at a time during dry, hot weather. Extreme blowing dust episodes, or duststorms, typically cover a large area, as opposed to the narrow zone of a haboob. Sandstorms occur when sand grains are blown across the lowest few feet of the landscape, usually in true deserts rather than semiarid regions." According to Bob Henson at wunderground.com

William said...

I'm always rhought that a haboob was an Islamic undergarment used to cover the breasts.

Diamondhead said...

"West Texans now getting Arizona type storms should use the proper term for that type of storm. Vocabulary isn't that hard to learn."

There is probably a term for dust storm or dust cloud in any language spoken in places where the phenomenon occurs. So why is "haboob" the "proper term"?

Gunbunny62 said...

" Hey Bob , its a dust storm".

Lyle said...

I lived in Lubbock... they are indeed referred to as dust storms in Texas. Never heard anybody call it a haboob. The dust storm is a pretty interesting experience.

TWW said...

"A meteorologist with the National Weather Service warned that Lubbock was about to be hit by a "Haboob".
He further warned that the Haboob could be followed by a violent 'ar-rash wal tash' with intermittent, sometimes severe, الرعد والبرق, صوت وضوء خلال عاصفة شديدة"

Michael said...

They don't call it a goddamn haboob anywhere in America. wakhaz ghabi!

Oso Negro said...

Hey Mark - Buzz off! It's Texas, we will object to anything we want.

n.n said...

It's over. Learn to speak and believe as the regime in power.

Jason said...

WOODY ALLEN, YOU MAGNIFICENT BASTARD!!!!

Paddy O said...

I don't see why everyone is criticising that poor weather reporter.

How many kilometres wide is that haboob? Probably too dangerous to take my Alsatian out for a walk just in case.

JPS said...

"West Texans now getting Arizona type storms"

Damn it, is there anything global warming can't do?

Robert Cook said...

Oh, brother...talk about a haboob in a teapot!

Bob Boyd said...

A haboob in a B cup.

wholelottasplainin' said...

In Arabic, "haboob" means "side boobage."

Trust me.

Mark said...

Diamondhead, you are right, we should be using the local term.

I wonder what the Navajo call dust storms, as using the local word is important.

But that's not what you're asking for, is it?

Fernandinande said...

Mark said...
غرب تكساس الآن الحصول على ولاية أريزونا نوع العواصف يجب استخدام المصطلح الصحيح لهذا النوع من العواصف. مفردات ليس من الصعب أن تتعلم.

الصواب السياسي المحافظ هو الكلام الصحيح سياسيا لا تزال الشرطة الذي هو هراء سواء

Fernandinande said...

Mark said...
وأتساءل ما نسميه نافاجو العواصف الترابية، كاستخدام المحلي كلمة هامة.

"łeezh bił hááyol".

Owen said...

I think "haboob" is a micro aggression and I want my safe space.

My argument: the language in a given location reflects that location: the land, the air, the weather. If people need a new word, it should enter the language democratically, almost by osmosis. Nobody should be able to say with confidence just how it got there, it just kinda seemed right.

Media here think they can jargon-bomb the populace. What use is that? People will not know what it means except by (a) being lectured at length and given lots of (in your face) examples, which takes years; or (b) mentally replacing the term with their experiential correlate: "Oh, I get it! You mean, 'dust storm!'"

A complete nonsense.

Matt said...

Is it spelled "haboob" or "habub"? I thought we didn't use "oo" for that sound in Arabic any longer (Saud instead of Saood). It looks too colonial or something.

I'll stick with "dust storm" until we get Arabic romanization straightened out.

mikeyes said...

While we are at it, let's just get rid of any Arabic word that has creeped into our language (I'm sure that the French Academy will help.)

Admiral can become Sea General
Adobe to "That clay stuff."
Jar to "Gass container."
Hummus to "Chickpea paste."
Mint Julep to "Kentucky Derby Cockttail."
Coffee can become "latte without milk."

And so on. There is a very nice list on Wikipedia. And while we are at it, we should probably ban any Farsi word, any Malay word, or any word from the languages of India and China since they have significant Muslim populations. Which includes English since it is the second language of educated persons in India and China. We can't have these corrupting influences.

Owen said...

Just to beat on the point: words are currency. Those who traffic in them usually do so to get somewhere else, that is, they do not intend to use the words to confuse but to do some work in the world. When the smartypants stick in their special new word, it might sometimes add value (information) to the people learning it; or it may just degrade a concept and "inflate the currency." Here? Haboob has a precise meaning. Now it is being asked to describe (possibly) very different phenomena. As if they were the same. So we are faced with a mapping problem. Does the phenomenon become partitioned so that some part of it actually fits the received meaning of haboob? Or does haboob expand or drift to cover the whole phenomenon formerly known as "dust storm"?

Bottom line, we all work on this issue constantly with every word we use, but we don't generally create the issue by forcing a word into circulation. Why is this being done?

Lyle said...

Amarillo High School's mascot is the "Sandies". Harks back to the dust bowl days. Maybe it is time for them to change their mascot to the Haboobs!

Michael K said...

"as such, it should be using the local term for the weather event."

When my father was growing up in Iowa, tornados were called "cyclones" and everybody had a cyclone cellar.

Now they are called tornados and nobody has a cyclone cellar. Progress.

mikeyes said...

Weather people, like physicians use words in a very specific way and the terms often have a different meaning elsewhere. Virago is a good example. The reason for this specificity has to do with clarification. A snowstorm has to meet specific criteria before it is a blizzard but most of us would call a heavy snowstorm a blizzard even if it isn't. Random use of specific terms is common but to the proffesional is sloppy.

tim maguire said...

Mark said...
Diamondhead, you are right, we should be using the local term.

I wonder what the Navajo call dust storms, as using the local word is important.


Are you being deliberately obtuse? Yes, of course you are.

Bob Ellison said...

I grew up in Arizona, decades ago, and we called them "dust storms". Nobody heard or said the word "haboob". That is a modern craptastrophy. The left and east coasts invented "haboob" for the fly-over states.

Gordon said...

Besides haboob there is derecho, instead of bow echo storm. And I was a weather guy as recently as 1986. Just like everyone else weather people like to show off, and prove that they're the cool kids. By tossing in Arabic words, they can virtue signal as well.

God knows a guy can stand on the deck of a motel down south in his company windbreaker while the wind and rain roar around him. Then the live shot ends and he walks back into the motel room. The camera and sound guy did their work from inside. And people will watch that for hours.

Xmas said...

And dammit...it's "Tidal Wave", not "Tsunami". I mean, the wave has nothing to do with tides, but I'm keeping the old name because I like it!

Bob Boyd said...

What do call it when you get paid to chase dust storms?

Haboob job.

R. Chatt said...

Meanwhile, back in Washington: "I don't think haboob is likely to replace dust storm, Mr. President. Too many boob jobs."

Obama: "Well then is there anyway we can replace 'hotdogs and hamburgers' with 'kabobs and tacos' in time for July 4th?"

Phil 3:14 said...

No word yet from Texas as to whether it's still okay to use the word "tornado".

Its a twister dammit! Speak English!!

John said...

I've thought about this for a while debating whether or not to comment on the weather. As an aviator I flew through west Texas dust storms from from 1975 to 77 and I flew through an Iranian Haboob on April 25, 1980. They both seem to put a lot of dust in the air, but the Iranian Haboob certainly extended a lot higher than in west Texas... I was told it was because of the unique soil composition of the Iranian desert.

In my humble opinion dirt storms should be in the primary language of the people getting dirty... in west Texas maybe it should be "dust storm/tormenta de arena."

Just say'n.

Diamondhead said...

"And so on. There is a very nice list on Wikipedia. And while we are at it, we should probably ban any Farsi word, any Malay word, or any word from the languages of India and China since they have significant Muslim populations. Which includes English since it is the second language of educated persons in India and China. We can't have these corrupting influences."

That's why this unpleasant-to-say word popped up out of nowhere - to give people a much-needed chance to cast aspersions on those who don't like it. Everyone knows languages borrow terms from other languages - this typically happens in a more organic way.

"I wonder what the Navajo call dust storms, as using the local word is important."

That would make more sense in the context of Arizona.

n.n said...

Hubbub.

Diamondhead said...

http://archive.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/opinions/articles/2011/07/12/20110712tuelets123.html

Not everyone from Arizona appreciates it, either.

JPS said...

John, 4:26:

Seems to me I've read about that one in 1980.

If we should ever meet, the beer's on me. (No direct connection there, just my hat's off to you.)

DIamondhead, 4:41:

"That's why this unpleasant-to-say word popped up out of nowhere - to give people a much-needed chance to cast aspersions on those who don't like it."

Exactly. Well put.

tim in vermont said...

I bet if they used the Navajo word, and it was easy for English speakers to say, it would catch on like wildfire.

But how far back in pre-Columbian conquests would we have to go? Or is it just a skin color thing with you?

mikeyes said...

Diamondhead,

According to the OED, the term haboob has been in the American scientific literature since posted in Scientific American in 1973 and in British English far longer. It is a specific jargon term related to a type of dust storm. In medicine we use the term takotsuba cardiomyopathy to refer to what is commonly known as "broken heart syndrome" but because the latter is so non-specific, the literature uses the Japanese term or a host of other longer or epynomic terms that are not as descritive.

It is not a suddenly found term but it did come to notice for a variety of political reasons. You are not required to use it.

D said...

The question is, "whether you can make words mean so many different things." For others: The question is, which is to be master. - what's that old saying? - nothing new, under the haboob"

Fernandinande said...

tim in vermont said...
I bet if they used the Navajo word, and it was easy for English speakers to say, it would catch on like wildfire.


Almost no Navajo words are easy for non-Navajos to say. I posted their term above: "łeezh bił hááyol". Those funny letters mean funny sounds.

MathMom said...

The word they use for "sandstorm" in Saudi Arabia is "shammal", which means "north", the direction from which the sand comes.

Darrell said...

Helen Keller used to call them "ahhhrahhahhahahaaa" before she received treatment. And that was a long time ago.

Michael McClain said...

Only a pretentious boob would use the term haboob when dust storm is perfectly acceptable.

Besides, it's Texas. We'll call a dust storm a dust storm.

mikee said...

I survived the change from Brontosaurus to Apatosaurus, and the change from tidal wave to tsunami, because of supposed rules of naming precedence in the former and increased accuracy in the second, but "dust storm" is a perfectly good description for what happens in west Texas. No complication of a foreign word is required for perfect understanding.

mikeski said...

"the change from tidal wave to tsunami, because of [...] increased accuracy"

"Harbor wave" is more accurate than "tidal wave" for a wave caused by an earthquake?