Arctic vs Artic: A Big Difference Between the Two
When you’re faced with the decision of arctic vs artic, the one you’re used to saying is probably the wrong one.
Cold weather is on its way to my part of the country, I’m told. By Wednesday night, I should be able to expect wind chills reaching into the 20s. (That’s Fahrenheit, for those of you on the Celsius scale wondering what’s so cold about that.)
I received an email alert about the impending onslaught of cold air and was happy to see that they described an arctic blast.
Arctic refers to the North Pole and the region surrounding it extending into the North American and Eurasian continents. A cold front coming from the far north, even if it doesn’t necessarily come all the way from the North Pole, is colloquially described as an “arctic blast”.
The continent at the South Pole is Antarctica.
Arctic is also one of the most frequently mispronounced words: people tend to drop the first C, pronouncing it artic. There’s no question that artic is easier to pronounce, because the first C in arctic requires an extra stop that prevents the word from rolling off one’s tongue as easily.
But ease of pronunciation is no excuse to use the wrong word when you mean something entirely different. Unfortunately, to be correct, you must select arctic if you’re referring to that northern region of the globe.
It turns out, interestingly enough, that artic is an actual word. More specifically, it’s an informal abbreviation meaning an “articulated lorry”. A lorry is a large truck designed to carry heavy loads. An articulated lorry, in automotive engineering terms, is a truck consisting of a tractor and trailer together as one unit.
Clearly, artic and arctic are in no way interchangeable. But then no one ever said that the right word would always be easy to pronounce!