Monday, December 18, 2017

The Next Sound You Hear ...


One of the things I've noticed as I've grown older is the ever-growing number of odd noises my body makes, usually at inopportune times. These are not necessarily dangerous, but can range from the inconvenient to the downright embarrassing. They can also be interesting from a linguistic standpoint.

I recently ran across this article by Akira Okrent: 21 Fancy Medical Terms for Mundane Problems, and found it fascinating. I'll not bore you with all 21 of the fancy terms your doctor uses to make you feel like you're getting your money's worth out of your health insurance (if you're lucky enough to have it), but I really related to this one: crepitus.

Derived from the Latin word for "rattle" or "crack," crepitus is the popping, creaking, or crackling sounds your joints make when you get out of bed in the morning, usually caused by cartilage wear in the joint space or, in soft tissues, by the release of trapped gas*.

I was interested to note that one of my favorite words - decrepit - comes from the same Latin root. And a little more reading led me to a Wikipedia article about Crepitus, supposedly the Roman god of flatulence. Unfortunately, Crepitus may not have been an actual god, but a satirical figure invented over time, although he may have given his name to the act of crepitation and thus to the amazing, one-of-a-kind Crepitation Contest ...



Feeling decrepit? Join the club.

Have a good day. More thoughts tomorrow.

Bilbo

* This is what happens when you crack your knuckles.

5 comments:

Mike said...

I'm crepitating right now! I can really crack my knuckles.

Mariette said...

Very interesting!

John Hill said...

Snap, crackle, pop are not just for breakfast any more!
I hear them any time I move now.

eViL pOp TaRt said...

I ache right now. No sound effects necessary.

allenwoodhaven said...

So that's what I frequently do!