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The Two-Way
8:24 am
Fri February 8, 2013

Is Nemo A No-Go Name For You?

The blizzard that's barreling toward the Northeast and New England has been dubbed Nemo by the folks at The Weather Channel, who as we've reported before are taking it upon themselves to name winter storms.

Now, while The Weather Channel will point out that Nemo is "a Greek boy's name meaning 'from the valley,' " and that it means "nobody" in Latin, those definitions probably aren't what most people think of first. As The New York Times' Media Decoder blog says, Nemo brings to mind "the adorable orange fishie in the Disney/Pixar film Finding Nemo." That's perhaps not the image to go with a potentially historic storm that is expected to dump a lot of snow on millions of people.

Still, Nemo's the name it's been given and this Weather Channel effort to give winter storms their own monikers seems to be sticking. On Twitter, for instance, #nemo is trending and there's already a rather amusing @Nemopocalypse account. Here's a sample Nemopocalypse tweet:

"Let's just say I'm somewhere between 3 and 30 inches."

And Nemopocalypse notes that:

" 'Nemo spelled backwards is a bad joke."

We're also hearing and seeing more news organizations use the Weather Channel's names for winter storms. Here at NPR, standards and practices guru Stuart Seidel has given correspondents and hosts permission to call the storm Nemo if they wish. NPR has "no rigid policy" on this important issue, he says.

This all makes us wonder whether everyone thinks Nemo was a good choice of name.

By the way, if there's another big storm after Nemo, the Weather Channel's list says it will be called Orko ("the thunder god in Basque mythology).

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