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A Katrina Lexicon. Popular T- shirt, circa 2. This is clearly the case during the rescue phase, when mismatched radio frequencies or murmurs from beneath the rubble can spell the difference between life and death. But our speech grows even more trenchant during the recovery and rebuilding phases, as grievances are addressed, restitutions (if any) are negotiated, claims to victimhood are laid (or questioned), and players maneuver for position in a supposed zero- sum game, where one. This agitated discourse yields a vocabulary of names, idioms, metaphors, acronyms, jargon, rhetorical devices, and narratives . As a geographer who has studied and written about New Orleans for two decades as well as a New Orleanian who witnessed the catastrophe and participated in the recovery, I have played the roles of speaker, documenter, and coiner of the Katrina lexicon. I am well aware that the writing of this article requires that I hopscotch between and among these roles, and in some cases that I .
They began when a hurricane officially named Katrina made landfall on August 2. Monday. Only then, over the car radio, did I begin to consume external media representations of the horrors. Theorie Rijbewijs B download free (Safford). Such is the nature of language: each individual conforms to a common sign before communication may proceed. The flood, it turned out, was not the result of a worthy system overwhelmed by the unimaginable: a Category 5 mega- storm bearing down on the city at the worst possible speed, size, and angle.
Rather, a patchwork of under- engineered and poorly maintained levees had failed fundamentally to manage a declining Category 2 storm, whose strongest winds and waves had actually spared New Orleans. Subsequent reports assured there was blame to go around, from scandalous dereliction of duty on the part of local inspectors, to decades of congressional underfunding and jurisdictional infighting, to inchoate evacuation and shelter planning by city government. Army Corps of Engineers, the department responsible for what we once called the levee or flood . They shook their fists at those who suggested that the physical devastation was . Many victims pointedly reminded listeners that it was not nature that nearly killed the city, but incompetent federal authorities. How Do I Refund Games On Steam free download.
In the fall of 2. New Orleans developed a new verbal ritual, which lives on to this day. I call it the onomatological scold, and it goes something like this: Don. Scolders first and foremost protest any use of the term .
They thus protest the shorthand use of . Calling the 2. 00.
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It commits the mistake of recentism, in which we ahistorically privilege certain events simply because they occurred within the domain of our cognizance. Reminding people of The Hundred- Year Backstory does not exonerate the Army Corps, but it does fairly contextualize the department. The levels of culpability are by no means equalized, but, like cogs in an engine, not all gears need to be equally sized to yield a collective result.
A century of tinkering with environmental processes, locally and worldwide, made the task of preventing outside water from entering into the levee- rimmed metropolis of New Orleans ever more difficult and expensive, even as anthropogenic soil subsidence made that task ever more important. These axes of urban risk rendered New Orleans particularly vulnerable to human error, and when that error involved key floodwalls and levees, innocent people paid with their lives. It was a tragedy a century in the making, and it had both natural and human elements. If we did, World War II would be called the War of Fascist Aggression, the Johnstown Flood of 1. State of Pennsylvania Dam Failure, and 9- 1.
When levee breaches occurred in New Orleans historically, they were called crevasses (the French word for break, crack, or fissure, adopted into English as a synonym for the cognate . When we do embed statements into disaster names, we end up polarizing the memory. Consider, for example, the hundreds of thousands of Americans who died during 1. Northerners preferred to call this slaughter the Civil War because they refused to recognize the South as a foreign country, while Southerners called it The War Between the States or The War of Northern Aggression because they insisted states had the right to secede. Perhaps we ought to call it The War Over Slavery, and if social media were around at the time, advocates would likely promulgate their favored moniker with a hashtag and a scolding. The very ambivalence about what to call this event engages participants in a healthy discussion of underlying problems and future challenges. Having no interest in declaring what others should call the 2.
I address the above question by sharing what I myself call it. I use a number of names and phrases, depending on context, with . But I make no apologies for often resorting to . It was also the only variable that manifested as a specific phenomenon on a specific date rather than as the result of gradual processes years in the making.