Today's word most definitely should be:
hyperbole - "A figure of speech in which the expression is an evident exaggeration of the meaning intended to be conveyed, or by which things are represented as much greater or less, better or worse, than they really are; a statement exaggerated fancifully, through excitement, or for effect."
Thus says the Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary of 1913 (and proffered to me by a little gnome).
Unlike manzanita -- a word chosen more or less at random -- hyperbole (let's just call it 'hype' for short) is more apropos to the weekend.
It's a beautiful, sunny winter afternoon. Yes there's some wind, and yes, it's only 23 degrees Fahrenheit, but "Blizzard 2005?" Come on, folks! A slow news day, perhaps?
I rarely watch TV, but last night I admit to tuning in to the evening news to see what old man winter had up his sleeve. The entire 30 minute broadcast was devoted to "Blizzard 2005" (cue ominous but heroic music here)! I find the alarmist tendencies of our media very annoying. Better to be alarmed at the long-eared beast of burden (if you get my drift) just re-inaugurated in Washington, don't you think?
The National Weather Service climatology data for LaGuardia Airport for yesterday indicates that we got about 10 inches of snow;
The fabled Isle of Manahatta got about 8 and half inches, and Long Island barely eleven.
Now, 10 inches of snow is nothing to sneeze at, but it's far less than the threatened 2 feet. (I admit, these figures don't include any data for today (Jan. 23), but as the storm stopped much earlier than they predicted, I doubt much was added beyond yesterday's fall.)
It will take far more than this to stop hominy grits, the old goat-mobile (pictured below) and, alas, the diamond mine. A snow-day seems highly improbable at this point.
Update: LaGuardia got an additional 1.1 inches of snow today, making for a total of 11.1 inches.
Further update: NWS updated their stats -- we got 2.3 inches on 1/23, making for 12.3 inches for the weekend.