The Universe of Discourse

Thu, 13 Oct 2022


Today I realized I'm annoyed by the word "stethoscope". "Scope" is Greek for "look at". The telescope is for looking at far things (τῆλε). The microscope is for looking at small things (μικρός). The endoscope is for looking inside things (ἔνδον). The periscope is for looking around things (περί). The stethoscope is for looking at chests (στῆθος).

Excuse me? The hell it is! Have you ever tried looking through a stethoscope? You can't see for shit.

It should obviously have been called the stethophone.

(It turns out that “stethophone” was adopted as the name for a later elaboration of the stethoscope, shown at right, that can listen to two parts of the chest at the same time, and deliver the sounds to different ears.)

Stethophone illustration is in the public domain, via Wikipedia.

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