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Article
November 7, 1977

Hybrid Words in Medical Terminology

JAMA. 1977;238(19):2043-2045. doi:10.1001/jama.1977.03280200055019
Abstract

SEVERAL communications recently published in the medical literature have stirred up the embers of an ageold controversy about compound words that contain both Greek and Latin elements. Ganias1 proposed the introduction of five new ophthalmologic terms of Greek origin to rectify certain bilingual coinages that he found "complicated and confusing." In a related editorial,2 Blodi approved the effort to "keep the language unadulterated," ie, to avoid coupling Greek with Latin.

Hussey3 took up the question of hybrid terms and dealt with it in a reasonable and practical fashion. After contributing his own balanced views, he presented the results of a small poll of other editors' opinions: all agreed that opposition to Greek-Latin hybrids is, in general, both groundless and futile. My purpose is to place the question in historical perspective and to offer practical suggestions for its resolution.

THE DEVELOPMENT OF TECHNICAL NOMENCLATURE  A living language evolves

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