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The Columbia Press

Columnists & Other Opinions

Senior Moments: The phraseology of 'medicology'

Emma Edwards
By Emma Edwards, Thursday, April 1, 2021

Some of us may have decided to catch up on doctor appointments as a way to get out of the house during the pandemic. When the doctors got wise, most reverted to telephone appointments.

I was delighted to talk to my doctor for about 20 minutes. Had it not been for the pandemic, I would never have had the opportunity.

Have you ever noticed that medical specialties end in “ology”? Oh, yes, like dermatology, urology, optomology, cardiology, psychology, pathology, terminology or even gastrology?

So many of our ailments end in “itis.” Those bother me the most. You know, like laryngitis, televisionitis, pancreatitis, tendinitis, hepatitis, meetingitis, bronchitis and neuritis. Add the “itis” to something and, through the Latin, it becomes a disease or inflammation.

The “ology” is derived from Greek. “Terminology” combines terminus and logia to mean “the study of terms and their uses.”

As one can easily see, the “ology” and “itis” words are not all related to medicine. Televisionitis, for instance, can become like a disease and even inflame others in our home. “Meetingitis” describes a person with a propensity to hold unnecessary meetings.

In studying the “ologies” and “itises,” I ran across this unique little list defining some familiar medical terms for us to enjoy.

Artery - The study of paintings.

Caesarean section - A neighborhood in Rome.

Cauterize - Made eye contact with her.

Colic - A sheep dog.

Dilate - To live long.

Fibula - A small lie.

Labor pain - Getting hurt at work.

Morbid - A higher offer.

Nitrates - Cheaper than day rates.

Node - Was aware of.

Outpatient - A person who has fainted.

Post-operative - Letter carrier.

Recovery room - Place to do upholstery.

Terminal illness - Getting sick at the airport.

I can identify with a joke from Bob Newhart, who is 91. “When it's all over, you go to heaven and God says, ‘What did you do?’ And I say, ‘I made people laugh.’ ‘Get in that real short line over there.’ ”

I think I will end with a quote from 75-year-old Dolly Parton. "I can't stop long enough to grow old. I'm just gonna be the best that I can be at whatever age I am.”


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