The word “meteorology” and its derivations are confusing to most people. After all, meteorologists do not study meteors; astronomers do that. Meteorologists study the weather.

Weather is comprised of all the stuff happening in the atmosphere, and it is meteorologists who study all this stuff. The word “meteor” is descended from the Greek word “meteoron,” which means “a thing in the air,” so it does make sense even if the word is a bit archaic.

There was a push in the scientific community during the late 1800s and early 1900s to change the word “meteorology” to “aerology,” but it never took. This is probably a good thing because it would have been too easy to refer to meteorologists as “airheads.” That would have been unfortunate.

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