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climate

Study this entry from Etymonline on the story of the word <climate>:

climate (n.)

late 14c., "horizontal zone of the earth's surface measured by lines parallel to the equator," from Old French climat "region, part of the earth," from Latin clima (genitive climatis) "region; slope of the earth," from Greek klima "region, zone," literally "an inclination, slope," thus "slope of the earth from equator to pole," from a suffixed form of PIE root *klei- "to lean."

Ancient geographers divided the earth into zones based on the angle of sun on the slope of the earth's surface and the length of daylight. Some reckoned 24 or 30 climates between Meroe on the upper Nile in Sudan and the mythical Riphaean Mountains which were supposed to bound the Arctic; a change of climate took place, going north, at a place where the day was a half hour longer or shorter, according to season, than the starting point. Others counted 7 (each dominated by a particular planet) or 12 (dominated by zodiac signs).

Change of temperature gradually came to be considered more important, and by late 14c. the word was being used in the sense "a distinct region of the earth's surface considered with respect to weather." The sense shift to "combined results of weather associated with a region, characteristic condition of a country or region with reference to the variation of heat, cold, rainfall, wind, etc.," is attested by c. 1600. Figuratively, of mental or moral atmosphere, from 1660s.

Some semantic interpretations:

Notice how the word “climate” was originally more connected to the idea of a ‘region’ and over time the connotation shifted to refer to the weather in a given region.

Are there ways this semantic shift in the connotation of this word can be referenced with respect to the current climate crisis?

Some orthographic investigations may include:

The following words come up when you search the Latin clima in Etymonline.

acclimate
climate change
climatic
climatography
climatology
clime
microclimate

Consider how you might address these words with reference to Greta’s speech and climate change in general.

Keep an eye out for these orthographic observations:

  • • Phonological shifts of the bound base <clime> across these words
  • • Announcing ‘replace the <e>’ when writing-out-loud word sums for these words
  • • Look for evidence of  <-o-> connecting vowel letters in this word bank. This connecting vowel letter is a sign of Greek origin. The <-i->, <-u-> and <-e-> connecting vowel letters are a sign of Latin origin. 

Comments (1)

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I recently received this lovely message from an environmental group called Sofar Ocean.

I was delighted to find they discovered this Real Spellers post that so clearly targets their interests and that the were asking about linking to each others' work. Absolutely! This kind of connection just reinforces the value of using structured word inquiry instruction as a means of deepening understanding of content areas.

Also, I've posted this comment in this special 'interactive format' of my original post that Real Spellers webmaster Matt Berman put together. The text of my original piece is the same, but Matt has created this format so that the reader can click on the identified words (at right) for resources, and those links can also be found in the text of the post. I hope to collaborate with Matt for more of these interactive kinds of posts. If you like to print off and study such documents on paper, you can go to the original post for the WordWorks Newsletter #99 at THIS LINK.

Below is the message from Sofar Ocean and the link to their work. Let's keep the col + labor + ate/ + ing going!

Hi there,

I’m Alexander from the Sofar Ocean editorial team. We connect the world’s oceans to provide insights to science, society, and industry for a more sustainable planet.

I’m reaching out because your post caught our attention as we were searching for ocean temperature, marine ecosystem, environmental disaster, climate crisis, coral reef ecosystem-related topics.

I was wondering if you can link it to our piece How Does Climate Change Affect the Ocean since we are of the same wavelength and have the same type of readers.

You may tag it/backlink it to any relevant text in any of your articles that you deem relevant. As a token of good faith, the Sofar Ocean team would be happy to campaign your website and content across our social media channels.

Let me know what you think.

Cheers,

Alexander Brown

Peter Bowers
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