Sunday, April 08, 2007

It pays to increase your word power

I've discovered a remarkable new word.

Drapetomania was a psychiatric diagnosis proposed in 1851 by physician Samuel A. Cartwright, of the Louisiania Medical Association, to explain the tendency of black slaves to flee captivity.

It's easy to laugh, but I wonder how many contemporary syndromes will seem equally ridiculous to future generations.

It is often tempting to assume that something exists just because a name has been conjured up. This is a fallacy for which my limited vocabulary has no mot juste. Is there a phrase or word for it?

No comments: