We got snow today, probably three or four inches.  Nothing extraordinary aside from it being cold and snowy.

Cincinnati, though, has this thing where any significant snowfall means the end of the world.  People get afraid to drive (I worked at home today, because I didn’t want to take the time on the commute home and the long trip up the hill.  I think I could have done it fine, but it’s all the crazies out there.  That’s also the reason I won’t ride a motorcycle.  I’m fine with the consequences of my own actions, but I get fearful about the below-average drivers.  And I’m rambling.), and they hit the grocery store as if there was a complete food blackout for the next year.   Here is the obligatory “stores are swamped” news story.

I’m not alone in noticing it – see here and here.  But I’m probably the only one complaining about it from a grammar perspective.

Channel 9 is our trusted news source in town.  They used to be CBS, but some affiliations got changed a few years ago, and now it’s just “Channel 9”.  This being Cincinnati, they have been doing a running weather blog today.  It will disappear once the crisis passes.  (Please note: the weather blog is not the traffic blog.  We take our emergencies seriously.)  I checked it after lunch today, and found this:

Yeah, it says “12:57 a.m.”, but notice the last update is 12:58 pm.  They got the time corrected later:

What really got me, though was the second sentence.  I’m having trouble even parsing it.

Roads as we go through the afternoon with the heavier steady snow will slow down as the snow accumulates.

Even now, I read that and shake my head.  My guess is that it’s a straight transcript of somebody’s televised quick update.  The time is close to the top of the hour.  Oh, and I found one of the missing commas, in the next sentence:

Unless, roads have been recently treated, they will be problematic.

We could even free up both commas with a little rearrangement.  Travel will be problematic unless roads have been recently treated. So we could go back to the earlier “slowing roads” and note that the road is either (A) not moving at all (discounting continental drift – which, at four inches per year, is probably safe to do), or (B) moving so fast that the speed of the car is essentially immaterial.  800 MPH rotational speed plus 66,660 MPH revolution speed means that a car going 35 MPH contributes five one-hundredths of a percent of the total road speed.

But I wouldn’t say that.  It would be mean.

Seriously, these people are communicating in real time, and I have the advantage of being a pedantic critic with time on my side.  They got the point across.  There was just a little mayhem as it was being transcribed.