Your interesting remarks concerning grammatical trivia are reminiscent
of another controversy of medical nomenclature, that of myocutaneous
flap vs. myodermal or musculocutaneous flap. It also brings to mind an
anecdote which I heard narrated years ago by radio personality Barry
Farber. It tells of the first visit of a motor car to a remote Swedish
village in the early twentieth century. The villagers were astonished
at its appearance in the town and ran to wake up the old, local
Professor so that he might witness it as well. They knocked upon his
door to awaken him. "What is it?" he asked upon opening it.
"Professor, you must come and see this," they exclaimed. "It is an
automobile!" "That's impossible!," the Old Professor responded.
"Auto-is Greek, and -mobile is Latin and the two cannot be together!"
With that the Old Professor closed the door and went back to sleep.
Norman Paley, BS, RVT
Staten Island, NY