Saturday, June 11, 2011

etiology



etiology also aetiology [ˌitiˈɒlədʒi] n.

1.) The assignment of a cause, the rendering of a reason; also, the reason annexed, the wherefore of a command or utterance.
2.) The science or philosophy of causation; that part of philosophy which treats of the demonstration of causes; the part of any special science which speculates on the causes of its phenomena.
3.) That branch of medical science which investigates the causes and origin of diseases; the scientific exposition of the origin of any disease (O.E.D. 2nd Ed.).

Etymology: Adaptation of Latin ætiologia, from Greek αἰτιολογία, giving a cause: αἰτία cause, reason + -λογία discourse.

"It will start in the E.R., at the intake desk if C.T.'s late in following the ambulance, or in the green-tiled room after the room with the invasive digital machines; or, given this special M.D.-supplied ambulance, maybe on the ride itself: some blue-jawed M.D. scrubbed to an antiseptic glow with his name sewn in cursive on his white coat's breast pocket and a quality desk-set pen, wanting gurneyside Q&A, etiology and diagnosis by Socratic method, ordered and point by point" (Infinite Jest, David Foster Wallace, 1996).

(Greek Physician Galen Applying A Treatment Of Cupping, Robert Thom, 1959)

18 comments:

Germs said...

Nice info man

Debra She Who Seeks said...

I've only ever seen this word used in a disease context. And not too often even there.

Liz Fichera said...

"...the wherefore of a command or utterance..."

Cool word.

shari said...

E, so basically, it's the practice of finding the source?

Fang said...

So etiology is the study of assigning causes to things? Neat!

Kicking Rocks said...

funny how you can spell it differently...just like grey and gray

Dave said...

Etiology sounds like something you see on those direction boards that you see in the hospitals lol.

M Pax said...

I like 'scrubbed to an antiseptic glow'. Nice writing.

Bart said...

it was an intentional typo

JayJay said...

It's a word with three uses. Brilliant. And it is one I've never heard before which covers my need to learn something new every day.

Duhniel S. said...

interesting stuff

thenitefalls said...

Detectives study etiology all the time

Rob said...

That is a good word :D

raven eli said...

sounds like someting you would hear on CSI... interesting

Katie said...

Very interesting. Your blog is unique. And awesome :D

Jesse Crows said...

etiology is a versatile word

Puja said...

A very very interesting and a useful blog.

Necroticism said...

I'm an amateur etiologist.

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