Archiver > GENEALOGY-DNA > 2004-12 > 1103230808

From: David Wilson <>
Subject: Re: [DNA] New Words: -ology!
Date: Thu, 16 Dec 2004 13:00:10 -0800 (GMT-08:00)

Uh, actually...

Going a little off topic here and heading towards pedantry. Apologies in advance.

What makes the word "genealogy" look wrong to us is an incorrect root separation. The word genealogy should not be broken into root and suffix as "gene-alogy" as Cyril suggests, but "genea-logy". Genea is the Greek word for generation, and -logy, without the introductory "a", is by itself a correct termination dealing with science and structure.

Actually the suggested termination "-ology" should not be considered as a pure suffix, because it retains as an element the vowel "o" that is actually part of the root of the noun to which the suffix is affixed.

It's true that "alogy" seems to imply something that is irrational, and in Modern greek the word "alogos" means horse -- an animal without speach or reason. But that's using the introductory a- (or "alpha privative," as the storm troopers of grammar say) as an introductory negating indicator, not as a trailing component of a word root.

So the spelling "genealogy" is actually meaningful and properly observes the rules of formation from Greek roots.

I spent a lot of years learning Greek. Hope no one minds if I actually exercise the skill in a minor way. And for those others of you who know Greek, I acknowledge that I am simplifying a bit. The whole gen-/gon- complex in Greek is extensive and and presents a variety of forms and roots.

David Wilson

-----Original Message-----
Sent: Dec 16, 2004 12:13 PM
Subject: [DNA] New Words: -ology!

In a message dated 16/12/2004 in Diana
writes: For maternal line research: "mitology" and "mitologist" or
"mitosearcher." For paternal line research: "Y-chromology" and "Y-chromologist" or
"Y-chromesearcher" -- with the Y always capitalized and pronounced "wye."

We were lumbered with the word genealogy by historical usage - yet the
'-alogy' bit refers to something which is NOT logical, NOT understandable - from
'alogos' (Greek.) Now we have a chance to put things right with new words
let us make sure they are all '-ology' - which derives from 'logos' - meaning
the 'word' or 'thought' behind everything which is reasonable and

Nice one, Diana. I like your suggested list. But I am afraid no one is
going to allow us to change to geneology - which it ought to be.


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