chapter  9
14 Pages

THE BUSINESS OF A NOBODY

The word ‘hysteric’ is an adjective derived from the medical term hysteria, after the same manner that manic comes from mania and paraplegic from paraplegia. The word ‘hysterical’, on the other hand, has the questionable right of being an adjective derived from the adjective hysteric. ‘Hysteric’ is descriptive of the disease hysteria, whereas it seems likely that ‘hysterical’ is loosely applied to people or situations conveying a picture of uncontrolled emotionality with extravagant theatrical behaviour. The venerable disease hysteria is much more than highly emotional behaviour and its adjective hysteric is, certainly in medical circles, not limited to that feature.