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Hysterical Note

Because I was married to a fellow who’d studied Greek, I crossed paths with the derivation of the word hysterectomy–meaning surgical removal of the womb, or ustere, as best I can phonetic-ize the Greek. I did not extrapolate from that knowledge to the conclusion that hysteria (hysterics, hysterical) derives from the same root, being originally considered a disorder of the womb.

This, of course, leads me to wonder how a highly upset man’s situation would be diagnosed, said man being in want of the eponymous organ.

The intersection of these various meanings is part of what makes the 2011 movie “Hysteria” such an interesting tale. This is a sly, funny, and even somewhat factual look at how the electric vibrator came into home use by Victorian ladies. Yes, the Victorians invented the vibrator, though the movie suggests they might have stumbled upon some of the first documented cases of carpal tunnel syndrome too…Which some of us might find… hysterical.

 

 

 

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