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TYPHOON

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TYPHOON

Postby Dr. Goodword » Wed Feb 06, 2013 12:12 am

• typhoon •


Pronunciation: tai-funHear it!

Part of Speech: Noun

Meaning: A tropical cyclone in the Pacific or Indian Oceans.

Notes: English seldom has different words for the same thing depending upon where it occurs. Today's Good Word is an exception. A tropical cyclone that disrupts the Atlantic Ocean is a hurricane, while the same thing in the Pacific is called a typhoon. A typhoon's behavior is typhonic, which is to say, it behaves typhonically.

In Play: If you live on the West Coast, you could be forgiven for saying something like this: "Clean up your room! It looks as if a typhoon passed through here." But typhoons are not to be taken lightly; typhoon Bopha left over 1000 people dead in the Philippines in December 2012.

Word History: The history of typhoon forms a long and fascinating web, tracing back to two sources. It traveled from Greece to Arabia and on to India, but combines features of a word that arose independently in China. The Greek word tuphon was a common noun meaning "whirlwind, typhoon". The Arabic version of the Greek word, tufan, passed into the languages of India, where Arabic-speaking Muslims had settled in the 11th century. The British colonialists brought it home to England from India in the 16th century, where it was first spelled touffon and tufan, in keeping with the Arabic. The modern form, typhoon, is a blend of the Greek-Arabic word and Cantonese (Chinese) taifung "great wind", hence the tai- in the first syllable, spelled ty- in English. The various forms coalesced and finally became typhoon, first appearing in 1819 in Shelley's Prometheus Unbound.
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Re: TYPHOON

Postby Perry Lassiter » Wed Feb 06, 2013 12:50 am

As a child I thought a cyclone was synonymous with tornado, probably because Baum says a cyclone hi Kansas and carried Dorothy to Oz. i was troubled when a science class along the way defined cyclone differently, and it took a while for me to straighten it out. Only then did I discover hurricanes and typhoons, first noticing the latter were in the Pacific, and that took awhile to find out why Pacific hurricanes were different from Atlantic. Maybe teachers should quit telling us to guess at the meanings of words we don't know.
pl
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Re: TYPHOON

Postby Philip Hudson » Wed Feb 06, 2013 2:33 am

A tornado is a cyclone. So is a dust devil that travels a short distance and gets sand in you eyes. Low-pressure areas are surrounded by cyclones during pretty normal weather. These cyclones happen all the time and we do not think of them as very large area hurricanes because they are not so violent. They don't do much damage unless they morph into hurricanes and this can't happen except in water and in or near the tropics. After a hurricane or typhoon gets going it can come over land, but it needs warm water to get its energy. There are also anticyclones. These circulate in the opposite direction of a cyclone around a region of high pressure. Anticyclones do not become tornados or hurricanes. They can cause very hot dry weather. Texas is often covered by a stationary high in summer. That means no rain and high temperatures. Water temperature variations in the Pacific cause a condition called El Niño. It controls much of the weather in America and affects the monsoons in Asia.

I am not a meteorologist, but I take a keen interest in weather. Us Red Necks usually start a conversation with, “Do you think it’ll rain?”
It is dark at night, but the Sun will come up and then we can see.
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Re: TYPHOON

Postby bamaboy56 » Wed Feb 06, 2013 10:54 am

Having been born and raised in Houston, Texas, I have sat through my share of hurricanes (as they're called in the Atlantic or Gulf of Mexico). Wicked beasts! Only once did I have to mandatorily evacuate an area because of a hurricane and that was once when I lived in Florida. Amazing occurrences!
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Re: TYPHOON

Postby LukeJavan8 » Wed Feb 06, 2013 1:32 pm

Interesting, we were on tornadoes in another thread.
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Re: TYPHOON

Postby MTC » Wed Feb 06, 2013 4:06 pm

Typhoon is Joseph Conrad's beautifully told tale of men confronting the elements at sea:

"The Nan-Shan was ploughing a vanishing furrow upon the circle of the sea that had the surface and the shimmer of an undulating piece of gray silk. The sun, pale and without rays, poured down leaden heat in a strangely indecisive light, and the Chinamen were lying prostrate about the decks".."At its setting the sun had a diminished diameter and an expiring brown, rayless glow, as if millions of centuries elapsing since the morning had brought it near its end. A dense bank of cloud became visible to the northward; it had a sinister dark olive tint, and lay low and motionless upon the sea, resembling a solid obstacle in the path of the ship. She went floundering towards it like an exhausted creature driven to its death. "
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Re: TYPHOON

Postby Philip Hudson » Thu Feb 07, 2013 1:02 am

Joseph Conrad was a very unusual man. He native language was Polish but he was a master of English. The dark nature of his writings reminds one of Poe, only better.
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Re: TYPHOON

Postby fredgamble » Thu Feb 07, 2013 3:31 am

In the Pacific Ocean the proper term is hurricane if east of the International Date Line. West of that line, such storms are called typhoons.
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Re: TYPHOON

Postby LukeJavan8 » Thu Feb 07, 2013 3:01 pm

Welcome fredgamble
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Re: TYPHOON

Postby Perry Lassiter » Thu Feb 07, 2013 6:26 pm

Indeed welcome, and an interesting addition that no one had before. I wonder where these conventions come from?

And Luke, wha hoppen to yr avatar this time? Gone again.
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Re: TYPHOON

Postby LukeJavan8 » Thu Feb 07, 2013 6:59 pm

Slava and I were working on restoring it, but he ran
into some difficulty. Saparris, who is in the
'res diversae' section offered to help, and may be
able to do it.

I don't know how. I have it in my 'pictures' file, and
could substitute something, but saparris colored the
original and put my dog's name on the hat of the
fellow, in another now defunct site. So we
were keeping it for old time's sake.
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Re: TYPHOON

Postby Philip Hudson » Sat Feb 09, 2013 2:29 am

The Good Doctor gave the tortuous process by which typhoon became the word for a tropical cyclone in Asia. Hurricane is the Tainoan (Caribbean) word for the same phenomenon in the Caribbean Sea. These two words are engrained with typhoon in Asian culture and hurricane in Western culture, thus the geographical application of the words.

Some people equate hurricane with any big wind. Note in the "Night Before Christmas" by Clement Clarke Moore:

"As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky.
So up to the housetop the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of Toys, and St Nicholas too."
It is dark at night, but the Sun will come up and then we can see.
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Re: TYPHOON

Postby MTC » Sat Feb 09, 2013 8:18 am

...or with a musical wind.

"Rock and Roll Music"
by The Beatles
...
I took my love on over 'cross the tracks
And she began her man a wailin' sax
I must admit they had a rockin' band
Man, they were blowin' like a hurricane

That's why I go for that rock and roll music
Any old way you choose it
It's got a back beat, you can't blues it
Any old time you use it
Gotta be rock and roll music
If you wanna dance with me
If you wanna dance with me
...
(http://www.sing365.com/music/lyric.nsf/ ... C200130D35)
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Re: TYPHOON

Postby Slava » Sat Feb 09, 2013 12:27 pm

The way the pronunciation for this GWotD is written out, it looks like it should be enjoyment in Bangkok.

Here's a nice metaphorical usage, too:
Gail Collins of the NYT wrote:New Jersey is currently awash in interesting political arguments. One of its senators, Robert Menendez, is in a veritable typhoon of ethics allegations.
Life is like playing chess with chessmen who each have thoughts and feelings and motives of their own.
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Re: TYPHOON

Postby LukeJavan8 » Sat Feb 09, 2013 12:55 pm

Where Leo DiCaprio played on the Beach.
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