Over the past few weeks, we’ve had some fairly extreme winter weather here in the Midwest. I’ve heard the word inclement used to describe it on several occasions. Dictionary.com defines this as “(of the weather, the elements, etc.) severe, rough, or harsh; stormy.” In their eagerness to use this word, people have abandoned proper spelling. On more than one occasion, I’ve seen people write inclement as in-climate. The prefix in usually negates that which follows. The word climate means, “the composite or generally prevailing weather conditions of a region.” Put together, in-climate weather would refer to weather conditions which are not representative of what is normal for a particular region. That’s assuming that in-climate is actually a word.
Curious as to what the experts had to say about this misspelling, I looked it up on Dictionary.com. The only results it yielded were from the U.S. Gazetteer and were names of U.S. cities whose name contains the word “in”: Bird In Hand, PA; Cave In Rock, IL; Put In Bay, OH; Howey In The Hil, FL; Lake In The Hill, IL. Reading these names made me think of Native American vocabulary.
My conclusion: Americans need to learn how to spell.