"Cyberchondria," or when a little medical knowledge is a dangerous thing

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

In another sign the English language is evolving, you can add a new word to your vocabulary: "cyberchondria." It's the term for what happens when you go looking up your health symptoms online and wind up coming to the worst conclusion. A new survey by Microsoft showed this phenomenon on the rise. The Takeaway is joined by Cary Cooper, professor of Psychology and Health at Lancaster University in the UK, to look at why you're as likely to conclude your headache is from a brain tumor as from caffeine withdrawal.
"Americans are particularly symptom-driven."
— Cary Cooper


Cary Cooper

Comments [2]


Most of our language errors are committed without awareness. An example of this is your very own show, specifically when Adaora repeatedly makes a plural out of a plural, as in (my pet peeve)her use of "incidences" for "incidents".

Another, of course, is the conversion of a noun to a verb, as in "text" - "I'm texting you right now." In this case, language would have to evolve enough to create a new verb, which may indeed be "texting".

I guess if I've been able to get over my old terror "It's so FUN", after listening to my children use it for 40 years, anything is possible.

Thanks for the forum.

Nov. 25 2008 07:02 AM
12 million med sites

(Google browser)

"Doctor who answers his emails"

No hits. Hmm

Nov. 25 2008 06:45 AM

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