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of dialectic union. Secondly, the want of a common principle in the origin or appropriation of terins. Thirdly, the introduction of a variety of useless synonyms, or the adoption of different words by different writers to express the same idea. Fourthly, imprecision in the use of the same terms. Fifthly, an unnecessary coinage of new terms upon a coinage of new systems." P.'4.-He then inakes some remarks upon each of these sources, and concludes “ with a few hints for such a general correction and improvement of medical language as may yet be introduced into it without violence or ostentation."-Mr. Good has been very successful in detecting errors and imperfections ; he has handled his flail dexicrously, and the chaff has flown in all directions. If he bas not been equally fortunate in suggesting remedies for all the evils which he has detected, it is, we apprehend, rather from the difficulty of the subject, than from any lack of ingenuity on his part.
We quote the following specimen of his powers in the exposition of erroneous terins, almost at random.
« What is the meaning of tone? In therapeutics, in physiology, and in the common language of mankind, sound and healthful elasticity : that voluntary reaction or state of extension between antagonist muscles, as Galen has admirably observed after Hippocrates, by which they are removed from a modification of rest; and in which the one yields to the other, not from utter debility, but in a precise ratio to the superiority of power exercised over it * Whence that class of medicines which contribute to this elasticity or healthful reaction in irritable or weakened organs is denoninated tonics : while organs which are destitute of it are said to be in a state of atony. But if tone be used to imply health, and tonics restoratives of health, what are we to understand by the phrase tonic spasm ? a phrase founded upon an erroneous physiology, perpetually, as I fear, leading us astray in our practice, and applied to a state of muscle in which there is no more tone, elasticity, or healthful reaction, than in the frozen strings of a violin. To shew the full force of the absurdity of this phrase, it is only necessary to translate it ; and to tell the English reader that it means neither more nor less than extensible contraction.
Phrenilis is a common and very proper term for phrensy or inflammation of the brain ; but paraphrenitis is employed to express inflammation of the diaphragm. How is this last sense to be explained? The me. dical lexicographers tell us that the preposition papa is here used as a diminutive to denote a kind of sympathetic phrenzy. Yet nothing can be more superficial"; and here, as in the former case, the term is derived
from an erroneous physiology. Phren (opov) in paraphrenitis, has a * reference to the very vulgar but very early opinion of the residence of
the soul in the præcordia ; while para, instead of diminution or defect, implies proximity--inflammation around the seat of the soul, Yet the meaning of Tsupa is about equally divided between the ideas of prosi. mity and defect in the medical use of the term, and hence the student
# De Mot Muscul. lib. ii.
can derive no precise information from its employment. Thus the paracme of a fcver means its decline ; paracusis depraved hearing ; paranea defective judgment; in all which mixpx is used diminutively; while in parotis, parathenar, faronychia, it implies proximity alone. In paralysis its intention is doubtlul, for it may be taken either way. There are many other prepositions and particles which, in composition, are used in i!le same indeterminate manner, and considerably augment the confusion of our vocabulary.” P. 30. .
Ilaving happily pointed out the “ extraordinary intertexture, the discordia concors." of the medical language of the day, Mr. Good proceeds to offer his assistance in correcting it. He advises us “ to discard all equivocal terms as much as possible; and in cases where this cannot be donc, to assign a fixt (fixeil) and individual sense to every term, and never
o employ it in any other sense.” He recommends us to crc. ate as few new words as possible; and anong those already in use, to confine ourselves to the same terin to express the same idea, even where we have a choice of numerous syno. nyms. He wishes us 6 to limit our nomenclature as much as possible to one language alone ;” and prefers the Greek, becauses by far the greater part of our technology is already derived from it, and that it possesses a facility of combination to which the Latin has no pretensions." We are then, 66 to banish every Latin, as well as well as every Arabic, Spanish, Italian, and German word in favour of its Greek synonym.” But as many diseases, such as syphilis, small. por, &c. were unknown to the Greeks, we must condescend to explore the writings of more modern authors to enrich our vocabulary.--Mr. Good concludes with submitting the fol. lowing regulations :
" 1 Let the particle a (a) express alone the idea of total privation ; as in amentia, agalactia, amenorrhea.
“ 2. Let dys (dus) express alone the idea of deficiency, as its origin duw or delas most naturally imports, and as we find it employed to express in dys-præa, dys-cinesia, and dys rhagia.
« 3. As an opposite to dys, let en (sv) be employed as an augmentive particle, as we have it in en-harmonic, en-telechia, and en-ergetic. En is not often, indeed, a medical compound, nor do I recollect its being employed in more than two instances; encephalon, in which it has the sense of interior (i word, indeed, that has been long falling into disuse, and enuresis, in which it imports excess, and is consequently used as now recommended. Thus restricted, zy and dus will have the force of umep and xxTü, but will be far more manageable in the formation of compounds.
66 4. Let agra (zypse) be restrained to express the idea of simple morbid affection in an organ, synonymously with the Latin passio, or the berh of the Arabians.
" 5. Let ilis (ilis) express alone the idea of inflammatory action, as in cephalitis, gastitis, nephritis.
“ 6. Let 66. Let algia (anyoz) express alone the idea of pain or ache, to the banishment of such useless synonyms as odyne and copos or copus.
“ 7. Let rhagia (from pnoow rump19) be confined to express a præter. natural flux of blood.
“ 8. Let rhæa (from pew fluo) express a prætei natural flux of any other kind.” .
A table of radical compounds is subjoined.
We give the author credit for the learning and the ingeRuity which he has displayed in this essay, but we have no apprehension of being obliged by his verbal speculations, to disburthen our memory of the “ gibberish" acquired from ancient writers, and charge it with new terms, which have not always the merit of being more appropriate, and in many instances, are more barbarous and cacophonous. Thus we have enenteria for diarrhæu; gastrorrhagia for hæmatemesis; pneumonorrhagia for hæmoptoc; urirrhagia for hæmaturia ; urirrhæa for pyuria ; ophthalmalgia for ache of the eye-ball. We know that Mr. Good is very conversant with dictionaries, and were therefore surprised at his remarks on the pare ticle en, which is used as a compound much more frequently than he seems to be aware of, as in enæorema, enarthrosis, encanthis, encoelia, encauma, endemic, encope, &c. &c. Without any pretensions to the art of prophesying, we may venture to predict, that whilst the works of liippocrates, of Sauvages, of Cullen, and of numerous other accurate de. scribers of diseases, continue to be read and admired, the terminology which they have used will be adopted. The reform of language is slow and gradual; and fill we bave beiter books, and inore complete systems of melicine, we must endure the jargon which prevailed in the times when our best treatises were composed ; let us bear in mind the opinion of Vaugelas, “ Lorsqu'une façon de parler est usitée des bons auteurs, il ne faut pas s'amuiser à en faire l'anatonie, ni à pointiller dessus, comme font une infinité de gens ; mais il faut se laisser emporter au torrent, et parler comme les autres, sans daigner éconter ces eplucheurs de pbrases."
In the sccond article, the President, Dr. Lettsom, lias drawn up a neat account of the late 'Villiam liewson, F. R. & M. S. and Teacher of Anatomy in London. lle was born in 1739; apd in 1760, took charge of the dissecting room, in the ab. sence of John Hunter, with whom, in 1762, he acted as joint lecturer.. In 1765, he was engaged in investigating the anatomy of fishes, and in the following year, presented to the Royal Society, of which he soon afterwards became a member, an account of the lymphatic system in birds and fishes, and particularly in the turtle. In 1771, be published his “ Experimental Inquiry into the Properties of the Blood." In the 12
autumn of the following year, the lecturing connection between him and Mr. Ilunter being dissolved, he commenced on his own account, and opened his course with a lecture on the uses of the spleen and thymus. In 1774, he published his work on the lymphatic system, and in the spring of the same year, whilst blessed with domestic felicity, and favoured by extensive practice, and well earned celebrity," he was attacked with a fever, occasioned by a wound which he received in dissecting a morbid body;" and died on the 1st of May, at the age of 35.
Mr. Hewson's celebrity chiefly hinged on his discovery of the lymphatic system in birds and amphibious animals, and his experiments on the blood. Dr. Monro has disputed (we believe unjustly) his claim to the first, and modern chemistry has, in a great degree, destroyed the value of the latter. We must admire his ingenuity and his industry, and lament that tbe fame of man rests on frail materials. : The third article in the Transactions, contains a “History of fatal effects from the accidental use of white lead;" by John Deering, Surgeon, with additional remarks, by, William Shearman, M. D. We shall state the substance of the case as related by Mr. D:
Mrs. R October 21, 1808, “ complained of violent pain in the scrobiculuz cordis, with great soreness of the epigastric region when press. ed upon. She had vomited a considerable quantity of bilious matter, and at the same time her bowels were constipated : the pulse was calm and regular, the tongue clean and moist, and there was no symptom of fever present She immediately took a càthartic, which operated, and an opiate in the evening.” In the mornin, she was relieved ; but in the evening the pains and vomiting returned, and continued for some days very distre,siag.
Nov. 4. A physician was called in; he considered the affection as rheumatic and spasmodic, and discontinued his visits in a few days, in consequence of the amendment of the patient. "In about a week after this period, a boy in the same family, nearly sixteen years of age, was seized with symptoms exactly similar to those of the preceding case, and similar remedies afforded only partial relief, till at length he was removed into the country, and thereby recovered his health.” Another child, soon afterwards, was seized with similar ymptoms, the mother relapsed into her former state, and three other persons in the family laboured under analogous affections. Poison was now suspected, but no indication of it, after minute investigation, appeared. The child, in about a fortnight, was pronounced by his physicians in a convalescent state ; but was soon after seized with convulsions, and expired within a few hours. Mrs. R. in whom the sickness and pain had continued una. bated, now gradually grew a little better. “ She had hitherto continued to suckle her child, which, it being tifteen months old, she was advised to wean: to this she reluctantly consented. In about ten days after. wards the child became somewhat costive, without any other apparent indisposition ; but at this period it was seized with vomiting and cool yulsions, and suddenly expired.” The unfortunate mother, after experiencing some relief, without being entirely free from complaint, on the 21st of January, 1809, was seize i in the morning with convulsions, which conţinued till 5 o'clock, P. M. when she expired. On the bo sequent day, Mr. Chevalier examined the body by dissection; he could pot, however, discover the least trace of morbid affection.
Of the three other persons who were indisposed, iwo recovered, and one died after lingering under disease till March.
A Committee of the Medical Society proceeded to inquire into this extraordinary case ; but no prob ble cause for the calamity was ascertained, till Dr. Laird detected a white powder adhering to the inner surface of a cask which had contained sugar usd by th' fam:ly Upon subjecting this powder to heat by means of the blow-pipe, globules of lead in the metallic state were produced. The mystery" was now developed. The sugar had been put into a cask which had previously contained white lead, and becoming impregnated with the metal, was, doubtless the source of the fatal events described.
“ Of nine persons in this family, who were more or less indisposed, four died, and the effects of the poison appear to have been nearly in the ratio of their respective ages.” • Dr. Shearinan describes an affection of the bowels very similar to the above, which prevailed in a provincial town). The cause of the complaint was traced by Dr. S. to soine Holland's geneva, which be found contained a metallic poi. son. The spirit bad been bought at the Excise office, and the chief officer, on being examined before a magistrate " confessed that the whole of the quantity of Holland's sold at the last sale had been impregnated with sugar of lead, for the purpose of depriving the spirit of the colour which it always contained by being kept some time in the tuhs in which it was brought over sea by the smugglers."
; · Dr. Dixon, of Whitehaven, in the fourth article, relates the history of a case resembling hydrophobia, from the bite of a cat. The animal was not supposed to be mad, but the symptoms of the patient were unquestionably those of a person affected with rabies canina, and terminated in the usual fatal manner. Our limits will not admit of the whole of this interesting case being inserted, and its value would suffer from being abridged or partially detailed.
The fifth article, by Dr. Falconer, of Bath, treats of the 4 indiscriminate use of mercurial preparations." The author commences with some well expressed animadversions on quackery, a subject indeed, on which little can now be said which has not been advanced by a hundred writers before ; of this part of his essay we quote the following with approbation : *** The absurdity of implicit faith in the decision of beings of our own nature and rank in the line of creation, is not confined to religion. Me