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May 1969


Author Affiliations

Rochester, Minn

Arch Ophthalmol. 1969;81(5):751. doi:10.1001/archopht.1969.00990010753030

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To the Editor.  —Slyly, during recent decades, a mongrel has crept into our forums. At the sound of its name the elder citizens shudder. The beast is the word "fundoscopy" and is of mixed Latin and Greek origin (Latin, fundus, meaning bottom; Greek scope, meaning viewer). In some regions, it has displaced a venerable relative of pure Greek lineage, "ophthalmoscopy."From late in the 17th century through the first half of the 19th century, "ophthalmoscope" designated an instrument with a magnifying lens used in examining the surface of the eye and its adnexa. In German, the equivalent word was "Augenspiegel," which Helmholtz used in 1851 when he described his new instrument for viewing the interior of the eye. English and French writers, in translation, quite naturally regarded Helmholtz's instrument as a new form of the ophthalmoscope with which they were already familiar, and the name stood unchanged for about a

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