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<   No. 4520   2021-05-21   >

Comic #4520

1 Long Tom: Ah, the storm be breakin’ up.
2 Long Tom: I be lookin’ for’d to the calm after the storm.
3 Dirque: I thought there be calm before a storm.
4 Long Tom: There be calm at the end o’ it too, otherwise there’d nay be a storm in the middle!

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In my experience "the calm before the storm" is a saying, a common idiom in the English language. While "the calm after the storm" is just something I made up for this joke, which I didn't think that anybody ever said.

Google however shows me 70.4 million hits for "calm before the storm", and the almost equal number of 69 million hits for "calm after the storm". That seems really weird to me, because—as I just said—the former is a well-known idiom, whereas nobody ever says the latter.

I have no idea what's going on with the English language any more.

EDIT: Turns out I searched for the phrases without including quotes around them, which Google interprets a lot more loosely. If I add the surrounding quotes, it restricts the search to the exact phrases, with the results:

"calm before the storm" - 3.6 million hits.

"calm after the storm" - 1.8 million hits.

A bigger difference, but still a lot more for the latter phrase than I'd have expected, although it looks like that's mostly because somebody decided to name a song with that title.

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