Date: Thu, 21 Aug 1997 11:35:48 -0400

From: Gregory {Greg} Downing downingg[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]IS2.NYU.EDU

Subject: Wind-chill factor

At 10:04 AM 8/21/97 EST, you (beth simon) wrote:

Perhaps it's the phrase, "wind chill factor" as opposed to "wind chill"

which I don't seem able to escape.

OED2 quotes the Clark Univ. dissertation where w-c (not w.c.!) was coined in

1939; "w-c factor" is cited from 1949. I was interested in weather as a

child and recall hearing "w-c f" on northern-US weather reports in the late

60s. OED has citations from the UK, including one from 1985 when the BBC

began including w-c in weather reports. Maybe plain "w-c" is a shortening

due to frequent use in such reports (though "w-c" alone is already attested

in the 1939 dissertation where it was coined).

So it doesn't seem particularly Canadian. Perhaps the author of the quoted

article thought there were climatic reasons why it would be commonly used

there and thus felt "distinctively" Canadian to her. The locution certainly

may get more of a workout there than further south, or in the normally

moderate UK. _A Dictionary of Canadianisms on Historical Principles_, ed.

Walter Avis et al., does list "wind chill," with a first citation ("w-c

factor") from 1949.

Greg Downing/NYU, at greg.downing[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE] or downingg[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]