Why do we use the term ‘nor’easter’ to describe storms?

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The term “nor’easter” has been used a lot this month after two powerful storms passed through New Jersey.

The term refers to a storm system that comes from the Northeast, and for the last 20 years or so has become the term that many in the media use when a storm like this approaches.

But News 12 New Jersey spoke with one local reporter who refuses to use the term.

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John Ward owns and runs local Monmouth County news site RedBankGreen.com. Ward says that he refuses to use the term nor’easter because it is too pretentious.

“I worked for a newspaper that the copy desk would always change northeaster to nor'easter. And they told me it was company policy and it had to be that way,” he says. “I'm not making an issue of it. I'm just avoiding being part of it.”

But there are some viewers who absolutely hated the term and would make their hatred known.

For years before he died, a Maine resident named Edward Comee would send post cards to any news anchor or reporter that he heard using the term. He called it "odious and loathsome" and ordered them to cease using it.

Linguists say there is no apparent ties to New England dialects. The term was used in the 1600s in England. They say that reporters may have just rediscovered the word and started using it again.

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