About Titles

Many of my titles are derived from Ancient Greek. There are several reasons for this.

Most simply, I find the language complex and expressive in ways English is not. For example, the suffix “-ics” implies “art”, “science”, and “study of”. There is no word in our tongue that makes this leap, since we have divorced art from science, among many other divorces, in our culture of specialization. The ancient Greeks, aside from being our cultural progenitors, were quite the opposite.

Another reason is somewhat historical. Early naturalists from the Enlightenment forward were always classically trained, since it was a large component of all education at the time. When they were confronted with the new and unfamiliar, they usually fell back upon this archive to name and classify. Thus “dinosaur” simply means “terrible lizard”. Even a cursory perusal of medical terms, taxonomy, and the natural sciences will reveal a preponderance of Greek and Latin, even for very recent entries.

Structurally, many Greek words consist of a “base”, with a modifying suffix and prefix added where desired. Because of this, generating new words is relatively straightforward. In the case of “Empurologia”, the base is “pyr”, “pur”: fire, light. The prefix is “en-“, (“em-” since “n” becomes “m” before a “p”): within. The suffix is “-logia”: “the study or science of”. Thus, Empurologia becomes “investigation of internal fire and light”. In a similar manner, a “rhegma” signifies a fracture, so “Rhegmalogia” is simply the study of fractures.