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Medical Humanities rest on a command of language and appreciation of visual fine arts. Both are expressions of fundamental ideas. The ancestry of ideas in words has roots in remote times, in a manner similar to the ancestry of genes. Like genes, words have a family history or pedigree that can be traced. Notably, biologic and linguistic evolution are intertwined. Ancestral archives of genes and words contain "archetypes" of ideas that may serve as bridges with the past and may explain modern realities. The survival of archetypes against oblivion reflects qualities of utility, fitness, beauty or at least elegance. The charm of many "word ideas" had a grip on the imagination of many saints, poets, and politicians who used them to inflame the imagination of followers. Liberty, Justice, Happiness, Oblivion, Mother, Nation are "word ideas" that have fostered dreams and engendered nightmares. Inevitably, as human leaders and dictators exploit "word ideas" to frame new odysseys, meanings may evolve, become deformed, be replaced or die.

Likewise, the illustrated overviews underscore ideas and their pedigree. Visual fine arts are also a repository of ideas that influence the sense in words. An emphatic effort was made to expand the search beyond the views present in English to include elements from other languages, existing and extinct. Also, the vagaries of spelling and other constraints of interest to linguists were discounted to enhance the sharpness of "word idea" images. To further configure "word ideas", roots and origins from Mythology, Literature, Poetry, History, Politics, Biology, Genetics, Medicine and other sources were scrutinized. Expressed in formal terms, this compilation seeks to emphasize the lemma of our lexicon drawn from beyond the limits of English. The alphabetic arrangement of Pandora's Word Box implies it is a online dictionary; a reliance on mythology, poetry and other sources of beauty bespeaks of an anthology; the extent of many entries and allusions to personalities suggests a cyclopedia and encyclopedia; the exploration for common roots in various languages suggests a polyglot approach, examination of phonetic similarities implies an emphasis on etymology and the analysis of similarities of ideas found in words lacking phonetic similarities suggests an emphasis on semiotics. For such reasons, Pandora's Word Box could be called a Polyglot Glossary or Dictionary, Encyclopedia, Anthology, Etymology and Semiotics. Many ideas gain grit when illustrated with images of classic sculptures and paintings.

Medword.net is our companion website (currently under development) dedicated specifically to clinical matters. Medword.net presents ideas in words along with photographic galleries to illustrate clinical topics.


See our current Humanities and Clinical overviews ...

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