Linguist Geoffrey K. Pullum raises the question of whether the way we name storms might be counterproductive:
I think it’s becoming clear that alternating male and female personal names to individuate Atlantic tropical cyclones is not a good idea. These storms are becoming far too nasty. Calling a storm “Harvey” makes it sound like your friendly uncle who always comes over on the Fourth of July and flirts with your mom. And “Irma” sounds like a dancer that he once knew when he was in Berlin.
Insufficiently intimidating, apparently. Here’s the fix:
Accordingly, next year the National Hurricane Center is planning to name tropical cyclonic storms and hurricanes after unpleasant diseases and medical conditions. Think about it. The state governor tells you a hurricane named Dracunculiasis is coming down on you, you’re gonna start packing the station wagon.
If you came back after Anthrax, Blastocystosis or Chlamydia, that is.
Anyway, that takes care of 2018. What comes next?
For 2019, the plan is to use names of parasitic worms and flesh-burrowing insects. After that, probably venomous snakes.
Politicians for 2021, I suggest.