In a Word . . . Homoeopathy

 

There’s a place near me which offers a “homoeopathy” service. “Hilarious,” I thought and was tempted to call in but feared being misunderstood. So I considered contacting US vice president Mike Pence.

He has opposed gay rights, claimed being gay is a choice, opposed gay marriage and a law preventing discrimination against gay people in employment as it “wages war on freedom and religion in the workplace”.

He even supported conversion therapy for gay people, to. . . er. . . straight-en them out. Which is why I thought of him when I saw that word “homoeopathy” boldly blazoned at a place near me.

Maybe it offers a sort of conversion/aversion therapy to straight-en gay people, so to speak? Or the opposite? It might be a service to make straight people gay. My curiosity was piqued.

I would call in to see what is on offer but the place near me is across from a pub whose regulars I know. It would not be fair to provoke them into speculating whether I was a gay who wished to be straight or a straight who wished to be gay, which is why I thought of Mike Pence. Il Penceroso himself.

I expect he would be aware whether homoeopathy is a conversion therapy.

It has to be an alternative medicine, like homeopathy, which is based on the idea that “like, cures like” and teaches that if a substance causes a symptom in a healthy person, a small amount of it may cure a sufferer.

Same, curing same. And, the Greek word for same is . . . “homo”. Hence “homosexual”. Which is why Bart Simpson got it wrong when calling his father “Homersexual”.

In general, and as with conversion therapy for gay people, there is little evidence that homeopathy is effective. But that doesn’t stop people.

So, is it possible that the homoeopathy service at a premises near me may be about helping to make gay people straight or straight people gay by applying a little of the opposite in either case? Will I ever know!

Well. I found out. To my surprise I discovered homoeopathy is actually the correct spelling for homeopathy.

Homoeopathy, from the Greek “homeois” (similar/ like) and “pathos” (suffering). In fact, omission of the dipthong (Œ) changes the root of the word to mean “same”, not “similar”.

One stands exposed, chastened, even humbled!

inaword@irishtimes.com

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.