From a photograph by Solomon D. Butcher of four daughters of rancher Joseph M. Chrisman, at their sod house in Custer County, Nebraska. From left to right, Harriet, Elizabeth, Lucie, and Ruth. Photographed in 1886.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Fiscal and Physical

Easily confused words



Fiscal means financial.
We all have our pet peeves, and one of mine pertains to the words "fiscal" and "physical." I have a strong urge to correct people who confuse and misuse these words.

Today, at work, one of the managers said that the "physical year" was just about to end so we should not allow sales to slide. Ugh. What on earth is a "physical year"?

Let's review these these two adjectives.

Fiscal means financial. The word fis-cal has two syllables.

Physical either has a scientific meaning (related to physics) or it describes something about a body (related to the physique.) The word phys-i-cal has three syllables.

Which adjective should be used to describe a business year, a year that begins and ends on arbitrary dates set by accountants? The answer is -- fiscal! It's a fiscal year! It's a purely financial period of time. There's nothing scientific or bodily about it.

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CONTENTMENT: Keep your heart free from hate, your mind from worry, live simply, expect little, give much, sing often, pray always, forget self, think of others and their feelings, fill your heart with love, scatter sunshine. These are the tried links in the golden chain of contentment.
(Author unknown)

IT IS STILL BEST to be honest and truthful; to make the most of what we have; to be happy with simple pleasure; and to be cheerful and have courage when things go wrong.
(Laura Ingalls Wilder, 1867-1957)

Thanks for reading.