End of ADS-L Digest - 6 Jan 1998 to 7 Jan 1998 ********************************************** Subject: ADS-L Digest - 7 Jan 1998 to 8 Jan 1998 There are 8 messages totalling 287 lines in this issue. Topics of the day: 1. BOOK REVIEW: Medical Meanings: A Glossary of Word Origins 2. Ski/Skee 3. fame 4. ADS Search Engine 5. RE>ADS Search Engine (2) 6. RE>>ADS Search Engine 7. "as best as I can remember" ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Thu, 8 Jan 1998 01:19:26 EST From: Bapopik Subject: BOOK REVIEW: Medical Meanings: A Glossary of Word Origins BOOK REVIEW: MEDICAL MEANINGS: A GLOSSARY OF WORD ORIGINS by William S. Haubrich, M.D., F.A.C.P. American College of Physicians, 1997 253 pages, $29.95 This book reminds me of LADYFINGERS & NUN'S TUMMIES (about food words). You read it, and it's mildly interesting. Then you realize this has been done before, probably several times before. Then you check a few entries. Then you start to get really mad! In a year, this is the type of book that could appear on the Barnes & Noble or Strand book store discount shelves, and at $8.95 you'll go home happy. At $29.95 for 253 pages (without illustrations or charts or diagrams), you want your money back. The jacket states, "Enjoyable for browsing, indispensable for research (really?--ed.), _Medical Meanings_ is a unique volume (unique?--ed.), one sure to please students, physicians, and word connoisseurs." There you have it. I'm sure to be pleased! Author Haubrich, the back flap tells us, has written more than 115 original or review articles for major medical journals and served as consultant in the life sciences for THE AMERICAN HERITAGE DICTIONARY OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE, 3RD EDITION. Basically, a word is presented, the Latin and Greek roots are explained, and that's it!! No historical citations. No slang and current jargon. The book looks like it could have been written 500 years ago! There's no bibliography. In the acknowledgments, the author credits Henry Alan Skinner's THE ORIGIN OF MEDICAL TERMS (1949, 1961 2nd ed.), the OED, DORLAND'S ILLUSTRATED MEDICAL DICTIONARY, Skeat's ETYMOLOGICAL DICTIONARY, Brewer's DICTIONARY OF PHRASE AND FABLE, BULFINCH'S MYTHOLOGY, Patridge's A SHORT ETYMOLOGICAL DICTIONARY OF MODERN ENGLISH, and the OXFORD DICTIONARY OF ENGLISH ETYMOLOGY. No wonder it seems musty. No credit is given to 1995's CURRENT MED TALK: A DICTIONARY OF MEDICAL TERMS, SLANG & JARGON by Joseph Segen. That book (which may soon be headed for a second edition) is much more current and lively, and included article citations. It was not an historical dictionary and it looked more like a med tome than DARE or the RHHDAS, but it was a grand, long-overdue start. For example, "gaspers" is not in MEDICAL MEANINGS, nor is "auto-erotic asphyxiation"--medical terms we discussed here on ADS-L. I looked up a bunch of sex terms such as "homosexual" and "transvestite"--neither is in MEDICAL MEANINGS, but "homo-" and "trans-" are. How unique! I got on Amazon.com and found out that MEDICAL TERMS: THEIR ROOTS AND ORIGINS by A. R. Tindall was due out August 1997, but I haven't seen it yet. A book called MEDICAL TERMINOLOGY FROM GREEK AND LATIN by Sandra Thompson and Lawrence Petterson was published in June 1978. The "unique" MEDICAL MEANINGS did not cite it. Also not cited in the "unique" MEDICAL MEANINGS is MEDICAL TERMINOLOGIES: CLASSICAL ORIGINS by John Scarbrorough, published in November 1992. The words in MEDICAL MEANINGS are presented alphabetically and are not grouped at all by any medical specialty. Thanks a lot. I haven't read the reviews, but CHOICE (October 1997, pp. 275-276) gave the book a favorable review and JAMA (August 27, 1997, pp. 688-689) gave it a mixed review. AMERICAN SPEECH hasn't reviewed it. Although there are many medical dictionaries and word books, a top-quality historical dictionary of medical terminology (that includes slang and jargon) is still needed. If you buy both CURRENT MED TALK and MEDICAL MEANINGS, you'll have spent about $80 and you'll have come close, but you still won't have that cool medical word book/database that you can impress on your friends who watch ER.