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The first blizzard hashtag?

Posted by Alan Wirzbicki  January 11, 2011 06:33 PM

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Boston Snow 2.jpg The voters have spoken: in an online poll, readers selected the Twitter hashtag #snowmygod for the winter storm due to arrive tonight, narrowly edging out #therewesnowagain.

As blogger Garrett Quinn writes, giving storms individual names with a play on the word "snow" has evolved into a Twitter tradition — beloved by Twitter fans and baffling to everyone else.

This naming convention, however, apparently has some venerable ancestors. The Dorchester Historical Society is hosting a well-timed lecture this Sunday on "Great New England Blizzards," including one that its website identifies as the "Snowicane of 1804." That mammoth October storm blew the steeple off North Church and crippled the local economy ("So many oaks and pines were lost that it was decades before the state's shipbuilding industry recovered").

Storm-related hashtags, Quinn writes, are only used once and then retired — so, in the future, consider #snowicane already taken.

Globe file photo, women leaving North Station during a storm in 1940.

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ABOUT THE ANGLE Online commentary and news analysis from the Boston Globe. The Angle is produced by Rob Anderson and Alan Wirzbicki. You can follow Rob on Twitter at @rcand.

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