To the editor:

Why did Ed Myers dislike the term “nor’easter” so much? “Not sure,” says Working Waterfront (Oct. 05). Not sure, indeed! No doubt Ed concurred with Gerald Warner Brace who deplored the “lubberly misuse of the words ‘northeast’ and ‘southeast’; nothing gives an outsider, or a landsman, away quicker than those – specially ‘northeast’ …the coast people still use “nothe-east … and they still recognize the world ‘nor’east’ as a sign of ignorance and pretense…” (Between Wind and Water, pp. 67-68.) Nor’west, yes, but nor’east, no.

The reason for the distinction, of course, is to minimize the possibility of misunderstandings, important particularly at sea. Neither Brace nor Myers were lubbers and they both valued and defended the proper use of language, a remarkably powerful tool in competent hands.

Spencer Apollonio
Boothbay Harbor