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Iatrogenic Login/Join
 
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A fascinating word, this one. I've often wondered, and this may very well be a question with no answer, how it was decided that iatro- was to refer to anything doctor/healer related. Anybody know?
 
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Picture of jerry thomas
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"What does the word Iatrogenic mean ??"

Could it be mental illness caused by the teacher's requiring the students to find obscure etymological information such as ... Iatrogenic, etc. ????
 
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<Asa Lovejoy>
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It's probably idiopathic, Jerry. Big Grin
 
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quote:
Originally posted by Asa Lovejoy:
It's probably idiopathic, Jerry. Big Grin

A professor of medicine at Edinburgh used to tell his students that "idiopathic" came from the Greek idio- (I do not know) + -pathic (what the hell this is).
 
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That's funny!

Timbo, I guess I don't know what you're asking. According to the OED (online), the word has always had a medical meaning. Has anyone ever seen it used in another context?
 
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Originally posted by Kalleh:
Timbo, I guess I don't know what you're asking.


me too. the prefix iatro- is from Gk iatros, physician.

here's a good one: iatromathematical
a) obs. practicing medicine in conjunction with astrology
b) holding a mathematical theory of medicine

"Edward Barry thought that the age of a man could be calculated Iatro-mathematically from the frequency of the pulse."
 
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Ah, I suppose I'm inquiring as to the primal provenance of the prefix. I mean, who actually decided to make iatro- mean what it does. And why? As I said, this may very well be a question with no real answer, but it's still one I find myself puzzling over.
 
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quote:
Originally posted by Timbo:
I mean, who actually decided to make iatro- mean what it does. And why?[QUOTE]

Rhetorical question? Do we know who first decided to invent a word for anything? I suppose there are a few known instances. Iatrogenic is as I understand it confined strictly to Medicine, as its Greek root tells. Iatrogenic illnesses sadly account for over 10% of all hospital admissions.

[QUOTE] As I said, this may very well be a question with no real answer, but it's still one I find myself puzzling over.

You are right: it's unaswerable. Puzzle thee no longer.
 
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who actually decided to make iatro- mean what it does

The Greeks: ιατρος (iatros) 'one who heals, physician, surgeon' (link), also ιατηρ iatēr link) from the verb ιαομαι (iaomai) 'to heal' (link). The word iatros is used in Homer, so it goes back to roughly the 9th century BCE. From the PIE root *eis- 'to move quickly; be healthy' (link).


Ceci n'est pas un seing.
 
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Wow. What a great point, though. Who did come up with what all the words mean? The Greeks? But who? How did it all start? I am sure there is some book on this...and probably z has read it. Wink
 
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quote:
Originally posted by Kalleh:
Who did come up with what all the words mean? The Greeks? But who?

Well, I don't think it was one person. Wink New words are coined over the centuries and generally are formed from 'root' words, often borrowed from other languages. Because classical Greek and Latin were so widely understood until relatively recently they were favourite sources for borrowing.

As zmj has said, some ancient Greek, or proto-Greek, would have coined iatros to describe the new-fangled doctors some three millennia ago.


Build a man a fire and he's warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he's warm for the rest of his life.
 
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some ancient Greek, or proto-Greek

And those Proto-Greek-speaking (link) folks got many of their roots from the Proto-Indo-European-speaking (link) folks (whomever they may have been). Where they got it from, some (e.g., the Nostraticists, link) have figured out, but others are willing to concede perhaps never knowing. There are currently two major schools of historical-comparative linguists: (1) those for whom the reconstructed proto-language is (or was a real thing) and (2) those for whom the proto-language is a sort of pedagogical and mnemonic device for organizing the historical linguistic data used in the reconstruction. I lean toward the latter school myself.

The whole origin of language (or glottogony link) question is one that was for a long time from the mid-19th to the mid-20th centuries not really studied or allowed (academically).

This message has been edited. Last edited by: zmježd,


Ceci n'est pas un seing.
 
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Well, I don't think it was one person.
Oh, I know that arnie. I was just trying to make it a bit more specific than "the Greeks."

Z, that link to the Wikipedia article was excellent...with lots of perspectives. Perhaps I am really naive, but Mitochondrial Eve? Everyone has descended from this woman who lived 150,000 years ago in Africa?

I frankly thought you were crazy, Z, to say that the origin of language wasn't studied or allowed to be. What isn't allowed to be studied? Then I read this in that Wikipedia article:
quote:
The question of language origins proved inaccessible to methodical approaches, and in 1866 the Linguistic Society of Paris famously banned discussion of the origin of language, deeming it to be an unanswerable problem.
This is the antithesis of academia. I've never ever heard of that attitude before, in any other discipline.
 
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I've never ever heard of that attitude before, in any other discipline.

Miss Manners always says that you should never discuss politics or religion in polite company. Maybe this is related?


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"Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.
~Dalai Lama
 
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Mitochondrial Eve


I seem to remember her being mentioned on TV in the Stephen Fry quiz QI a while back. Apparently an Adam has also been found, but the problem is that he appeared 40,000 years (or some such figure) after Eve. Fry remarked that there must have been some heavy-duty lesbian sex going on in the meantime! Wink


Build a man a fire and he's warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he's warm for the rest of his life.
 
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40,000 years after Eve.


which merely makes Adam the missing link!
 
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<Asa Lovejoy>
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The Wikipedia article makes me think that Bishop Usher wasn't that far off! Egad!!!
 
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Miss Manners always says that you should never discuss politics or religion in polite company. Maybe this is related?
CW, if you read the Wikipedia link, you will see that the Eve discussion (and that seems different to me from Adam and Eve, but that's another discussion) was completely different from my other point. My other point was that the study of the origin of language wasn't allowed. That would be like saying the study of the origin of diabetes wasn't allowed. Ridiculous and stupid. Anything should be allowed to be studied. And I am certain Miss Manners would agree with me on that, but if you don't think so, I am happy to write her and ask.
 
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