Nick Epley at the University of Chicago has been studying the effects of naming inanimate things like storms. He finds that doing so gives them human-like qualities —among them, intentionality.
Along with plenty of ice, sleet and snow, much of the country has also been blanketed this winter by an avalanche of names. When winter storms assault us, they now come with names like Hercules, Janus and, the most recent storm, Pax.
Here’s NPR’s social science correspondent Shankar Vedantam on why we name winter storms and how those names might affect us.
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