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Talking Points: The naming of the Grammy's and Nemo

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How did the Grammy Awards get their name?

The awards, which honored the best singers and songwriters of 2012, is named after the gramophone. In fact, the awards show was originally called the Gramophone Awards.

The gramophone, one of the first devices that could play back recorded sound, was invented by Emile Berliner. It features a distinctive horn to amplify the sound.

Berliner was not the first person to invent a device for recording and playing back sound. Both Thomas Edison and Alexander Graham Bell developed their own versions. Edison invented the phonograph in 1877, but about a decade later Berliner had patented his own device, which played laterally cut records with inlaid grooves with a steel needle, paving the way for the record player. That technological innovation would denominate the music-consuming world for much of the 20th century.

The Grammys don't just take their name from the gramophone. The golden award handed out to each year's winners are miniature replicas of a gramophone.

Who named last week's Northeast snowstorm Nemo?

The World Meteorological Organization names hurricanes and tropical storms every year. However, it does not name winter storms, so the Weather Channel decided to take up the task.

The National Weather Service does not use the name, but several New York and New Jersey politicians, including New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, have used the name Nemo. While the National Weather Channel's naming ploy was met with some cynicism in the press, it was a hit on Twitter.

The Weather Channel has named other storms too, using names like Athena and Iago.

By Friday, the Weather Channel had already rolled out another one of its winter storm names to describe weather conditions affecting Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Minnesota. That storm was named Orko.

enewcomer@washingtonexaminer.com

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By the staff of
The Washington Examiner