MICTURITION and MEATUS (almost in brief)
(Sponsored by Dr. William Blalock, Bay Urology P.A., Mobile, Alabama)
To grasp beauty in the notions of "micturition" and "meatus" requires that you read what follows to the last. This brief also illustrates that chasing meanings inherent in words is a conduit to surprising endings. My initial intent was to expand on notions presented in a previous illustrated overview (see upper left), namely "adduct, abduct, varus, vagus". By the time I finished the first sentence of the new brief, my intent was "ab-orted" by an "ab-normal" array of invading unexpected notions. In the first sentence I included the word "per-meat-ed" and that triggered the abortion by an invasion of notions inherent in "meat-us" and "mear" which in Spanish stands for "to urinate". I knew that "meatus" in Latin and related pedestrian derivations stand for "passage" but other invading images demanded further and greater imaginations. Soon I found myself seeing the water per-meated fields of Water-loo where Napoleon became pissed when he failed to stop England from meddling in Europe. Next, I found myself in Wellingtons palace in London. I enjoyed "micturating" in his "loo" so much that I was transported to Ukraine. While in Kyiv, I learned that local wines often were "watered-down" or in Ukrainian, "loora-ed". From physicians I learned that parents of children with enuresis (persisting bed-wetting) were called "looras". By then I made the brilliant conclusion (I hope you disagree with me), that Ukrainians, millenia ago, must have learned how to speak from the more civilized English. Next, I remembered that many persons, including me, are convinced that poets are who inject and stich words into patterns of inspiring vitality. While in Kyiv, I also learned that the nomen "words with wings" for etymology and word roots is the Slavic equivalent to our much stark term "etymology". Now I feel I can try to convey the poetry in the fact that "mea" is linked to "meiosis", a cell division that "lessens" the number of chromosomes in half without which there would no fertile eggs nor sperm to fertilize them ... strange that sperm is also delivered via the urninary meatus (the ear meatus or opening of a conduit, so far, is beyond the expanding bounderies of sex, but without them we are deaf). I also hope that at least some of you will grasp the vitality and "sense in common" in the array of words such as "mear, meatus, meiosis, Miocene, mini, minor, minimal and even in miniskirt". The "stitch" is the notion of "diminished". Now you can try to go to the loo, pass your water or micturate and experience a sense of diminished urinary bladder distention. This is precisely what the Greek term "meion" implies. I conclude that among medical pioneers, there were sufficient champions of poetry to have crafted terms like meatus rather than "stoma" for mouth, which has not much to do with "diminished". I am sure that among you are some who are indifferent to poetic notions and are more interested in tests and certificates demanded by the "middle-class" which inherently upholds the "middle" thus "media" and "mediocrity". Should you be asked about micturition, you may safely say that it stems from the Latin "micturire", a prevalent, official "correct" answer upheld by "profess-ional" sources. The fact that such knowledge and answer is totally meaningless is something we all must endure.
W. Wertelecki, M.D.
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