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#89034 - 12/07/02 05:27 PM iatric  
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tsuwm Offline
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this too shall pass
teD suggests, in another thread, the question: is the word 'iatric' used outside of crossword puzzles? I found this in the June 17, 2000 Spectator, signed by "Dot Wordsworth"..

MY husband laughed in his unkind iatric way at a friend of mine who had said, `If anything should happen to me. . . . '

Luckily he left it till after she was gone before saying, `Of course something will happen to her - sooner or later.'

The absurdity of the phrase had already struck Anthony Trollope, who put it in inverted commas in The Prime Minister (1876): `In the event of "anything happening" to that ne'er-do-well nephew, he himself would be the heir . . . He always heard of him as being drunk, overwhelmed with debt and difficulty, and altogether in that position of life in which it is probable that something will "happen".'

There are some references in the 19th century to the phrase being a new one, though such observations are not always reliable. The earliest occurrence that the Oxford English Dictionary records is in a letter from Nelson in 1795. `A glorious death is to be envied; and if anything happens to me, recollect that death is a debt we must all pay.'

It seems strange that Nelson should use such a euphemism in a sentence that uses the plain word death twice. Perhaps something happening implied accidental death more than the eventual death that comes to everyone. Even so, it would rather weaken Rupert Brooke's lines if then went:

If anything happens, think only this of me: That there's some corner of a foreign field That is for ever England.

A far more puzzling usage struck me last week when in the BBC news we were told that the relations between President Clinton and President Putin during their talks in Moscow were `at best cordial rather than warm'. Is cordial not generally the same as warn? I know you can cordially hate someone, but since the implication of the word is that the emotion comes from the heart, is it not a higher notch than warn to hit cordial in your relations?

I suppose the fact is that many of the words uttered on the wireless are aural wallpaper, a mere indication that nothing has happened to the broadcasters.

Dot Wordsworth


(I gather that 'Dot' is a nom de plume?)


#89035 - 12/07/02 05:54 PM Re: iatric  
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maahey Offline
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Iatric: Greek: iatros - physician;
adjective when used as itself. more commonly a suffix as in geriatric, pediatric, etc. Also works the other way around as in Iatrogenic, Iatrochemistry, Iatroliptics.

Here's an interesting snippet with the adjective usage: Source: spizzquiz

"The respected editor of the respected Journal of the American Medical Association was fired Friday after charges he published an article for political, rather than iatric, reasons. The article, titled "Would You Say You 'Had Sex' If ...?", reported that 59% of college students surveyed in 1991 did not consider oral sex as "having sex." AMA executive v.-p. E. Ratcliffe Anderson, Jr. said Dr. George D. Lundberg, 65, JAMA's editor for 17 years, had put JAMA "into the middle of a debate that has nothing to do with science or medicine." He apologized for the article's timing. But sensible observers pointed out that this is the perfect time for such an article. "I think this is a tragedy," said Arthur Caplan, bioethics director at the U. of Pennsylvania, of the firing.
ęCopyright 1999, Kevin Johnson"



#89036 - 12/07/02 07:01 PM Re: iatric  
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Alex Williams Offline
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also, psychiatric


#89037 - 12/07/02 07:34 PM Re: iatric  
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tsuwm Offline
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tsuwm  Offline
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this too shall pass
maahey, one caveat about spizzquiz: Kevin's MO is to take a legitimate news article and substitute in a rare word he's found in OED2. I suspect the original read something like, "The respected editor of the respected Journal of the American Medical Association was fired Friday after charges he published an article for political, rather than medical, reasons."


#89038 - 12/08/02 01:44 AM Re: iatric  
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maahey Offline
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quite right, tsuwm. it now strikes me that TEd was looking for something that actually used the word 'iatric' to make a point, rather than an example of word usage in sentence forming.


#89039 - 12/08/02 05:52 AM Re: iatric  
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Well thanks, Mike. This has been suffixially worrying me for weeks now to the point where I might have gone out and shot myself pretty soon if you hadn't provided us with such a clear and well-illustrated explanation ...

- Pfranz


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