November 2008
Writing eTips UpWrite Press

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Word Pair of the Month: climactic, climatic

This month’s words are differentiated by one little “hard c” sound in the middle, but that sound indicates a big difference in meaning.

The word climatic refers to specific weather conditions, as in this example.

As climatic conditions change due to global warming, polar ice is becoming softer and less hospitable for its animal life.

Meanwhile, that little “hard c” sound in the word climactic gives it an entirely different meaning: It refers to the high point, or climax, of a story.

The lead character’s murder confession was the climactic moment of the movie.

Whether writing or speaking, remember that little “c” and don’t mix these two similar-appearing words.


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November Writer’s Forum Question:

In this troubling economy, it’s easy to look at the dark side. Yet this month is traditionally a time to be thankful. What things about your career, your job, or your office are you grateful for?

Of course, the economy plays a big role in the way many of our respondents view their jobs. A worker identified only as Levieta wrote,

I am thankful that I have a job in a time when so many have lost their jobs, homes. and in some cases, even their dignity. I am also thankful for my boss, who is calm and quiet spirited.

Kelly Neale of Chicago, Illinois, responded:

I have full health coverage, so whether or not I like my job is a moot point. I will grit my teeth and bear anything for “bennies.”

Others mentioned the practical aspects of some jobs, such as stated by Terri Ulrich, a Chiropractic Assistant in Fort Myers, Florida.

I love the fact that my office is less than a mile from my home. I can walk or bicycle there, giving me exercise and saving bucks at the gas pump! I also get free spinal adjustments, which keeps me healthy and happy.

Many were philosophical, as was Ben Harrison, a postal worker in New York City.

Is this my dream job? Heck no, but at least I have security. And the work is not bad—occasionally even enjoyable. Really, it’s all in the attitude. You can grump and make things miserable, or you can learn to be pleasant. It’s surprising how much more I began to enjoy my work once I considered that I was performing a service that helps people.

And there were many more positive responses. Elizabeth Jacobs, an accountant in Tenafly, New Jersey, finds much to be thankful for.

I had to put myself through school, and I have huge student loans to pay back, which shrinks my already small income. I could have done something more glamorous and gotten a bigger paycheck, but this is what I wanted, and I am lucky to be able to do something I enjoy. Even more, I get to work with amazing people who make it a joy to go to work each morning, and that is truly something to be thankful for.

Rosalind Hebert, a public information planner with the Houston-Galveston Area Council, reflects on the support she received from educators throughout a long, upward career path.

I have been with the same company for more than 15 years and have much to be thankful for. I am especially grateful for the dedicated staff members who have supported me in my career and for the many opportunities I had to complete my degree in Business Administration with financial support from my company. Such company-paid professional development and continual job training offer almost unlimited possibilities for all employees.

In addition to the freedom to advance, I am grateful for a very generous package of benefits, plus flextime working hours which begin as early as 6:00 a.m. and run as late as 6:00 p.m. I have a 15-minute commute, covered parking with security, a cafeteria in the same building, and a management office that includes all employees in special holiday celebrations.

Even though every office has its problems, I have learned that the grass is never greener on the other side. I am so very thankful to be working for an organization whose services—at least for now—are needed and utilized by the very large community it serves.

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