Is It Climatically, or Climactically?

 "Coral bank", by Firkin, openclipart.org.

 "Coral bank", by Firkin, openclipart.org.

Climatically

Last updated September 14, 2017

Is climatically a word? I'm afraid the owl isn't all that wise. But you are—I'm sure.

I know what you're thinking: Of course climatically is a word! But my kids and I debated this question one evening over dinner. And just to clarify, these "kids" of mine are 26 and 33.

I had no sooner used climatically in a sentence before I began to have my doubts. I love the way it rolls off the tongue—"climatically." My oldest son screwed up his face.

Oh, climatically is a word alright, but it's not affiliated with climate. It has to do with the climax of a story, or so we thought. We're so smart.

You see, I have a long sordid history of word misuse that dates back to childhood. It began with moonbeams and hasn't yet ended. Nevertheless, I started this blog.

"Where are they going on their moonbeam?" I asked my grandmother after a wedding in which I was a flower girl.  "It's honeymoon, not moonbeams," she chuckled.

Later, I struggled with scope. "What's the scope on that?" I asked my dad. "It's scoop, not scope," he replied with a smile.

But let's not forget my 9th grade term paper on water pollution. I used "destroyation," instead of destruction, to describe how we had polluted our waterways with chemicals.

Why is it that you can add "ation" to detonate and end up with detonation. Implicate becomes implication. It must be that the English language doesn't allow "ation" at the end of words ending in "oy."

We don't talk about the "deployation" of nets to clean plastic out of our oceans or the "employation" of green technologies. I tried to think of an exception to this rule, but I couldn't. Can you?

Climatically, however, is a word. And it has absolutely nothing to do with the climax of a story. Here, let's use it in a sentence.

Climatically speaking, Earth has never been in more danger from mass extinctions and extreme weather patterns than in our present century.

Let's try it again—one more time—just for practice.

There will be many changes, climatically speaking, in the coming years, which will affect all living things on our planet.

Climatically.

It does roll off the tongue nicely, but I don't like the context much.

Now, let's use it in a paragraph.

Where are you going on your moonbeam? I hope it's some dreamy place that hasn't suffered from the destroyation of natural habitats or other changes, climatically speaking. Please do give me the scope on the details when you return.

Well now, isn't that just tickety-boo!

I'll leave you to look that one up.

Just so you know, climactically relates to the high point or the climax of a story, not climatically. But you knew that, right?

Laura