How Do I Use “Weather” and “Whether”?

Weather: sunny, rainy, snowy, partly cloudy, etc.

Whether: introduces either one alternative or alternative possibilities; either.

For much of his career as a movie critic, Roger Ebert had a weight problem—he had too much of it. Once, he visited Sir John Soane’s Museum at 13 Lincoln’s Inn Fields, a museum that is known as “the most eccentric house in London.” Sir John was a collector, and he collected books, brass buttons, coins, drawings, etchings, furniture, mirrors, oils, pistols, rifles, rugs, statuary, swords, tapestries, stuffed heads, watercolors, and writing implements. When Sir John, a great 18th-century architect, left his home to England, his wife said, “Now let them dust the bloody man’s collection.” In Sir John’s breakfast room, Mr. Ebert saw a 17th-century chair, which was handsome and behind which (on the wall) was a card that said, “Have a seat on me!” Mr. Ebert prepared to take a seat, but a museum guard told him, “Oh, no, no, no, no, no, sir!” Mr. Ebert protested, “But it says to have a seat!” The guard replied, eying Mr. Ebert’s sizable figure, “And so it does. But it’s not for the likes of you!” In addition, Mr. Ebert once visited Bangkok, Thailand, where he saw a tailor shop with this sign in a window: “Fine Linen Summer Suit Made to Measure—$80.” He went inside to inquire whether the sign were correct, and the proprietor looked at Mr. Ebert’s sizable figure and said, “Well … it 80 dollars suit, sure enough. But you—hundred dollar man.” Mr. Ebert says, “It was a great deal. For $100, I got a handsome white linen suit that fit me, and a story I could tell every time I wore it.”

David Letterman is known for his wit. As a member of the Sigma Chi fraternity, he once talked a fellow fraternity member into shaving his head and painting it blue. Mr. Letterman then pointed out the fraternity member to other people and said that he was the world’s biggest ballpoint pen. And as a weather broadcaster in Indiana (early in his career), he once announced the temperatures of two cities—“Muncie, 42; Anderson, 44”—then said, “Always a close game.”

Steve Owen, coach of the New York Giants, knew how to win games. In 1934, he coached his team to an upset victory against the powerful Chicago Bears in the National League championship game. At halftime, Chicago was leading, 10-3. However, Mr. Owen noticed that the ground was frozen solid with the weather getting even colder. Therefore, in the second half the Giants played in sneakers. The Bears kept slipping and sliding all over the field, and the sure-footed Giants won the game, 30-13.

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