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Thread: The word 'hypochondriac' seems to have the wrong definition

  1. #1 The word 'hypochondriac' seems to have the wrong definition 
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    I think that it would make more sense for a person paranoid of medical conditions to be called a hyperchondriac, and for a hypochondriac to be someone who is apathetic about health.


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    The Enchanter westwind's Avatar
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    People do not choose ill health. Natural state of being is optimism and get up and go. Especially when young. Losing face among your peers because you can't keep up is not very nice. Your Breeding could be at work here. Biological breeding that is. Upon conception, interchange of the lottery of DNA Genetic material blinding to gether in an explosion of lifeforming strands of blueprints to create this new living creature. Can't jump?? Maybe the Genetic code let slip your jumping gene. Can't help bad luck. I myself got the last pair of Lungs available the day I was conceived, meant for a moscuito. Them's the breaks. Bit short on Family Jewels? The big boys got in before you. Now that I have grabbed your attention, we are all different, hidden gifts, maybe, maybe not. What terminology you apply to health situations and conditions is irrelevant to the person whose burden it is to have to live a life with one hand tied behind their back. If you have robust health, help your neighbour across the road. westwind.


    Words words words, were it better I caught your tears, and washed my face in them, and felt their sting. - westwind
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    Brassica oleracea Strange's Avatar
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    You are mis-analysing the meaning. It's current meaning is slightly different from the original:
    Online Etymology Dictionary
    ei incumbit probatio qui dicit, non qui negat
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    Since hypercondria is actually a recognised medical condition I don't think calling someone with it 'apathetic about health' is really appropriate. People can and do genuinely make themselves ill because they believe something to be wrong with them. Unfortunately it is a self forfilling prophecy.

    What they need is proper psychological treatment to restore their sense of equilibrium.
    “The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts.”

    Bertrand Russell
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    Thank you, Chrisgorlitz. I saw how the definitions fit. You meant that the two words were based on the physical states involved (hyperchondriacs actually were sick and hypochondriacs were not) and not the mental components. I was looking at it from a psychological point of view, in which case it would have been correct for the two titles to have had opposite meanings. Westwind, you needed to calm a bit. My statement was not about making accusations against people who were in ill health. I merely said that I thought that hypochondria and hyperchondria ought to have each other's definitions.
    Last edited by Theresa; June 14th, 2019 at 10:29 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Theresa View Post
    My statement was not about making accusations against people who were in ill health. I merely said that I thought that hypochondria and hyperchondria ought to have each other's definitions.
    Hi Theresa, I don't think anyone thinks you making accusations, unfortunatley though there is always going to be a confusion problem with some terms, I think when something has become established even if it doesn't really seem to quite fit it would cause so much confusion as to negate any value in it's change many time's over. I think though you'll probarbly agree with me just how similar hyperchondriac and hypochondriac actually sound.

    One of the quirks of the english language is the some words don't quite fit it's full of little anomalies.
    “The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts.”

    Bertrand Russell
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