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OBaue: In keeping with all this, I heard someone today refer to the "snowballing effect." Not "snowball," mind you. "Snowballing." Is that a normal term for anyone here? "Snowballing effect"? I can't remember ever hearing it before.

In what context?
pe
He who laughs last is the last to catch on.

He who laughs last laughs alone.

Mickwick
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Hi, Laura. I have been tearing my hair out during ... like this is entirely performed by the media, especially television.

This week and last week, I believe our TV weather forecasters have been right on target for a change. ... mind you. "Snowballing." Is that a normal term for anyone here? "Snowballing effect"? I can't remember ever hearing it before.

Well, it's been snowballing lately. Don't know what effect it will have.

Jon Miller
The men and women of Maine are made of sterner ... five minutes, not unthawing for decades to come. Glory Hallelujah!

Charles, every single post of yours tonight mentions me.

Then you missed 43% of them, plus the two more about Young Joey than about you. Or there is the other very real possibility.

You also discount the ones where I'm again responding to one of your insults.
All in all, even with the unusually high number of posts about you yesterday, I write far many more on-topic posts than you. One reason being is that I am able to.
You're going to have to stop that or people will start telling us to get a room.

I'll start construction of a padded one in my basement for you if such talk becomes serious. I will hope, of course, it will be hot enough for you.

Charles Riggs
Email address: chriggs¦at¦eircom¦dot¦net
The snow and the drifts are deeper in the front and back yards (BrE lawns?).

Since none of the other Brits have picked this one up (or of they have, I missed it, in which case apologies) ... I don't think these are quite synonymous. Probably a closer equivalence is US yard = BrE garden.
In BrE a lawn is an area of maintained, close-cut grass. Now, I know quite a number of US front and back yards, mainly in the mid-West (Illinois (do I qualify to join your mob?)) and in New England, and almost all of these do primarily consist of close-cut grass, but - how can I explain this? - in these US yards the grass is the default. Some US yards have, in addition to the grass, some shrubs, a small flowerbed or two, a deck, a barbecue area, maybe a pool. Most US yards have a tree or several. But the grass is what you'd get if you didn't specify anything else. (Caveat: I'm sure there are many areas of the US where these generalisations don't apply.)

In most of the UK, the gardens (front and back, where applicable) have a higher proportion of flowerbed or vegetable-bed to grass, and if the garden is well-maintained, with the edges of the grass clipped so that the grass area retains a specific shape, and if the grass is regularly fed, rolled, mown, aerated, and scarified, then it qualifies as a lawn (though some purists would dispute this unless these processes had been undertaken continuously for the past century or two). If the grass is long and interspersed with weeds, bare patches, and apparatus for ball games, it usually isn't called a lawn, except by its owners. In between there's a lot of room for manoevre.
If you go to the very simple and attractive site
http://www.oldcity.f2s.com/shez/, you'll find some photos of a not-untypical well-maintained English garden, on a small plot. You'll see the lawn in the shot called "View from veranda" and in the two shots called "Wisteria from kitchen window". You'll also see that the lawn is surrounded by flowerbeds and has a very particular shape. This is the sort of garden many Brits aspire to, even if our lawns in reality verge towards the weedy.
So, to come back to the question, don't be misled into thinking that because a US yard often = grass, and UK grass sometimes = lawn, therefore US yard = UK lawn.

Katy Jennison
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The snow and the drifts are deeper in the front and back yards (BrE lawns?).

Since none of the other Brits have picked this one up (or of they have, I missed it, in which ... that because a US yard often = grass, and UK grass sometimes = lawn, therefore US yard = UK lawn.

Wow! Forget the garden: I want a dragon like that! Where is this place?

Laura
(emulate St. George for email)
Wow! Forget the garden: I want a dragon like that! Where is this place?

A small private suburban garden outside Norwich. The link was posted to arwm, and I've replied asking about the provenance of the dragon.

Katy Jennison
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OBaue: In keeping with all this, I heard someone today ... here? "Snowballing effect"? I can't remember ever hearing it before.

In what context?

From your response and Jonathan's, I'm wondering if the phrase "snowball effect" is as common as I had assumed. ("Snowballing effect" is the phrase that sounds odd to me.)

begin quote

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia,
about snowball effect:
The snowball effect is present in any process that starts from an initial small state and builds upon itself, becoming larger perhaps potentially dangerous or disastrous (a "spiral of decline" or "vicious circle"), but might be beneficial (a virtuous circle, or often a self-fulfilling prophecy).
The common analogy is with the rolling of a small ball of snow down a snow-covered hillside; the ball will pick up more snow as it rolls, gaining more mass and surface area, and picking up even more snow as it rolls along. In cartoons, this gag is almost a cliche.

end quote

Maria Conlon
Still lots of snow here, but driving's not bad.
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I have a theory that every city subject to snow is willing to be routinely shut down about two or three days a year.

I've lived in four Canadian cities and I don't remember this being the case for any of them. Certainly none of the four schools and one university that I attended ever closed due to winter weather.

My wife and I have, on occasion, been allowed to leave work earlier than usual in the afternoon in case of a snowstorm at that time of day. But we were never told we weren't expected to come in, not even in 1999 when there was so much snow that the subway was badly affected.

Or perhaps Richard has some other meaning of "shut down" in mind.
Mark Brader "People with whole brains, however, dispute Toronto this claim, and are generally more articulate (Email Removed) in expressing their views." Gary Larson

My text in this article is in the public domain.
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