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I hate cutesy catchphrases that are delivered with a smug grin, a chuckle, or wink. Have them delivered by a news anchor, a major website or even a lesser-known internet jockey, and they’re even worse… amped-up and ready to irritate. I have a growing list of phrases, along with some individual words and terms that make my blood boil… or “grind my gears” as the wise Peter Griffin once said. One of the latest is “Chiberia,” a made-up, annoying term used to describe the arctic temperatures in the Chicago area this year. I’d originally thought that the Chicago Sun-times coined the term, but according to FOX 32, it was a National Weather Service forecaster named Ricky Castro that is to blame. Tonight, as news of another snowfall came across the television, I watched in agony as another anchor delivered the “Chiberia” name with a grin and that fake “ha-ha” delivery that only one at a newsdesk can properly pull off.

Chiberia. It’s not funny. It’s not cute. It’s winter, and we have it every year.

You know what else wasn’t funny? When a circuit board on our furnace blew the week of the first “Polar Vortex” back in January, and Rock Father HQ was temporarily heated with space heaters from Target. By the time the replacement board arrived, the thermostat read a chilly 40 degrees. I shall call that week, Furnacecrapageddon.

–Old Crankypants