Odd Toppled Trees

While here in Toronto the advent of Hurricane Sandy isn’t the cause of evacuations and frenzied preparations that it is for my relatives and friends back on the Jersey Shore, but that doesn’t mean we won’t feel its effects. But one sentence from the Canadian Weather Office’s warning for the city jumped out at me:

Sporadic power outages are quite likely across the warned regions due to falling limbs and the odd toppled tree taking out hydro lines.

“The odd toppled tree” is distinctly unbureaucratic in tone; I like it. It’s not the kind of thing you expect to see in an official announcement about severe weather. “Quite likely” is also nicely informal. The “hydro,” of course, is pure Canadian, a clipping of hydroelectric. Had this been a warning in the States it would have read “power lines.”

Whenever normal, human speech works its way into official bureaucrat-speak, it’s a good thing.

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