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Hypothesis, analysis and synthesis: it’s all Greek to me!

TitleHypothesis, analysis and synthesis: it’s all Greek to me!
Publication TypePreprint
Year of Publication2019
AuthorsIliopoulos, Ioannis, Sophia Ananiadou, Antoine Danchin, John Pa Ioannidis, Peter D. Katsikis, Christos A. Ouzounis, and V. J. Promponas

The linguistic foundations of science and technology have relied on a range of terms many of which are borrowed from ancient languages, a known but little researched fact from a statistical perspective. Precise definitions and novel concepts are often crafted with those — frequently used — terms, yet their etymology from Greek or Latin might not always be fully appreciated. Herein, we demonstrate that frequently used terms span almost the entire PubMed® database, while a handful of terms of Greek origin retrieve 80% of all entries. We argue that the etymology of those critical terms needs to be fully grasped to ensure correct use, in conjunction with other concepts. We further propose a number of terms for genomics, using prepositions that can accurately define subtle sub-disciplines of this ever-expanding field. Finally, we invite commentary by both the science community and the humanities, for possible adoption of suggested terms, not least to avoid inaccurate usage or inappropriate notions that may compromise clarity of meaning.


by Dr. Radut.