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Pneumonology or Pneumology?: An Etymologic Approach

Ioanna Ramoutsaki, PhD; Ioannis Ramoutsakis, MD; Demosthenes Bouros, MD, FCCP
Author and Funding Information

Affiliations: Heraklion, Crete, Greece
 ,  Dr. Ramoutsaki is a philologist at the Pankretion Lyceum, Dr. Ramoutsakis is in private practice, and Dr. Bouros is Associate Professor, Department of Pneumonology, Medical School of the University of Crete.

Correspondence to: Demosthenes Bouros, MD, FCCP, Department of Pneumonology, University of Crete, Heraklion, Crete, Greece, GR-71409; e-mail: bouros@med.uoc.gr



Chest. 2002;121(5):1385-1387. doi:10.1378/chest.121.5.1385
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Extract

“Wise the accurate”

Ancient Greek motto

Not surprisingly, most medical terms are of ancient Greek origin. However, their etymology frequently is not widely known and neither is the first usage of the main words that are used in medical practice, which originated in ancient Greece. Consequently, these words are misused. The ancient Greek sophist Antisthenis1 claimed that “the examination of names is the beginning of science,” emphasizing that words as names (onomata in Greek) of things were directly connected with the objects they indicated and that they can lead us to their real origin and, consequently, to the beginnings of science.

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