Question of the day: “Dis-ease”?

I got in somewhat late last night and was tired from the meeting, but there’s been something that’s been bugging me more and more, and Kimball Atwood‘s recent posts about the distortions of language used by “complementary and alternative medicine” advocates brought it to the forefront. I first noticed this particular term being used by alties a few months ago by quantum homeopathic woo-meister supreme Lionel Milgrom, and I’ve been seeing it more and more, particularly in antivaccinationist circles.

I’m talking about the term “dis-ease.”

Believe it or not, I’m not all-knowing about such issues, appearances notwithstanding. Consequently, I thought I’d throw it out for discussion. Where did this term come from? Does anyone know who first started using it? It appears to be a linguistic attempt to redefine disease as being the opposite of “ease” or something like that in a cutesy and, in my not-so-humble opinion, truly idiotic manner. Personally, I like a rejoinder that I saw on a discussion list that goes along the lines of: “Anyone who uses the term ‘dis-ease’ should be ‘dis-membered.'”

One thing’s for sure: If I see anyone using the term “dis-ease” in an article or blog post, it’s about as reliable an indication as I’ve ever yet found that I’m dealing with quackery. Not “alternative” medicine. Not “complementary” medicine. Not “integrative” medicine.


And, no, I’m not “dis-sembling,” either, although “dis-assembling” idiots who routinely use the term “dis-ease” would be a highly tempting “dis-traction.”