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The Listening Post

More Fun with Morphemes

The great thing about medical terminology is that it does not just teach about medicine or the human body. It has its roots in more general scientific terminology. The rules of word formation are the same. In fact, I first came to the world of medical terminology through my non-medical science degree in anthropology. 

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Chalasia and Achalasia

Chalasia and achalasia – do you know these terms? The ‘ch’ is pronounced like a ‘k.’ These are two opposite conditions, but both can wreak havoc in the digestive tract. Chalasia is from the Greek chalasis, meaning "relaxation or loosening of." The ‘a’ in achalasia indicates “not” or “lack of.” The thing we are talking about relaxing or not relaxing is the lower esophageal sphincter.

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