Make Your Editor Cry: Ascent vs. Assent

Make Your Editor Cry:  Ascent vs. Assent

Assent refers to agreement, while an ascent is a climb. When you get people to agree with you, you gain their assent. When you climb a mountain, you make an ascent.

Ascents are for airplanes, Sherpas, rockets, and rock stars. This word can also be used in reference to something less tangible, like an ascent up the corporate ladder. If you are moving in an upward direction, that’s an ascent, like your quick ascent from the secretarial pool last year to senior VP this year. An ascent can be a physical climb up something, like your ascent up a rock wall at the gym. If you’re sitting in coach and the pilot has just tucked away the landing gear, hopefully the plane is making its ascent.

Examples:

The temperatures plummeted as we began an ascent into the
mist-wrapped mountains.
The song came out with a bullet and quickly made its ascent to
the number one spot.

Assent is a rather formal way to say “agree.” Assent means agreement. If your parents assent to having your best friend stay for the weekend, make up the extra bed. As a noun, assent refers to an agreement. If you nod your head in assent, you agree to something or you assent to it.

Examples:

What happens if a consumer with one of these devices
declines to assent to a revised privacy agreement? (Wall
Street Journal
)
The doctor wanted the child’s assent to treatment even though he
had parental consent.

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