This study examines comparative constructions that appear in the Linguistic Atlas of the Middle Rockies, a linguistic survey conducted with native informants in Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming from 1988 to 2004. In particular, it analyzes responses to three prompts targeting expressions used to describe extremes in temperature and aridity in the region. As part of this investigation, linguistic patterns in the range of responses to each prompt are identified, and several social characteristics of the informants, including sex and religion of informant, are tested for correlations with individual linguistic items as well as groups of categories extracted via the linguistic analysis. While the word hell is pervasive in these responses (e.g., the weather is hotter than hell), and thus has not become obsolete like some earlier scholars predicted, variation in its distribution among social groups and metadata suggest that the word is still considered taboo by some speakers.

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