Why Is The Tornado Angry?

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I was a couple of sentences into the story by Ker Than ("More Midwest Twisters: Why Is Oklahoma Tornado Vexed?", National Geographic 6/1/2013) before I figured it out:

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12 Comments »

  1. SimonMH said,

    June 2, 2013 @ 7:24 am

    I see, he meant tornado-vexed. Modern headlinese seems to prefer tornado-prone, but the thought of a vexed tornado is rather appropriate (albeit not to those in its path).

  2. Bill W said,

    June 2, 2013 @ 8:58 am

    That's what happens when you fail to sacrifice your first-born to the tornado god.

  3. marie-lucie said,

    June 2, 2013 @ 10:05 am

    Or to use a hyphen.

  4. Robert Coren said,

    June 2, 2013 @ 10:08 am

    I'm a little disappointed; when I saw the subject line I thought this might be about the tendency of bad writers (whether literary or journalistic) to refer to "malevolent" storms or seas.

  5. Pete Schult said,

    June 2, 2013 @ 11:17 am

    Bill W. is undoubtedly correct. Pete Seeger had a parody of "Old Time Religion" that has accumulated additional verses through the folk process. One of those verses goes

    We will pray to Thor and Odin
    Though in manner quite forebodin';
    If we don't, we might get snowed on,
    And that's good enough for me.

  6. Polyspaston said,

    June 2, 2013 @ 8:50 pm

    More to the point, who is Oklahoma Tornado, and why should we care about their mood?

  7. un malpaso said,

    June 2, 2013 @ 8:56 pm

    Don't ever vex a tornado. You think they're bad normally, just wait until you get one angry.

  8. spherical said,

    June 3, 2013 @ 6:09 am

    Be ever polite to a tornado,
    lack of courtesy‘s a sure-fire way to
    stoke its rage, get it vexed,
    leave forecasters perplexed,
    with no way to tell where it may go… umm… next.

  9. Suburbanbanshee said,

    June 4, 2013 @ 8:43 am

    1. It wasn't Pete Seeger's parody. He just used it.

    2. Actually, Tornado Person is generally considered to be a goddess, among the Shawnee. Tornadoes are her braids touching the ground, and Shawnee have traditionally enjoyed tornado-watching because Tornado Person supposedly doesn't hit Shawnee homes.

    I don't know about other tribes in the Oklahoma area.

  10. Andy Averill said,

    June 4, 2013 @ 3:01 pm

    They were probably thinking of hexed. There doesn't seem any point in asking why Oklahoma is vexed by tornadoes.

  11. Amina said,

    June 4, 2013 @ 3:13 pm

    http://xkcd.com/957/

  12. Ray Dillinger said,

    June 4, 2013 @ 9:04 pm

    Am I really the first to notice the missing 'of' in the caption? I thought that was what this whole thread would be about. The headline, while ambiguous and in its intended sense very awkwardly worded, is at least grammatical. The caption brings out that ol' urge to strangle that I have to ignore all the time.

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