"atmospheric," n.

Benjamin Zimmer bgzimmer at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU
Sun Jun 27 21:26:12 UTC 2010

On Sun, Jun 27, 2010 at 5:10 PM, Dave Wilton <dave at wilton.net> wrote:
> Normally you see it in the plural, "atmospherics." It is actually quite
> common in marketing and political circles, and I'm surprised that
> dictionaries haven't picked it up.
> Atmospherics are the general ambience, mood, and background that influence
> opinion. So Crowley is saying that the single poll number is probably
> important by itself, but it will be one of many factors contributing to a
> negative opinion of the Democrats.

Merriam-Webster has "actions (as official statements) intended to
create or suggest a particular atmosphere or mood in politics and
especially international relations; also : the mood so created or
suggested." A quick check of the databases finds the political type of
atmospherics in relatively frequent use since c. 1970. Singular
"atmospheric" is another matter.

--Ben Zimmer

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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