I received today an entertaining and enlightening response to our Good Word hysteria from Rebecca Casper of Brigham Young University. I thought it might be of general interest.
“I just caught up on my DGW email. I just read about hysteria and it put me into musing mode. I have long known some of the etymology of that one–but not all. (Thank you).”
“Though I am not a raging feminist, one once pointed out to me the inherent historical unfairness exhibited by the fact that hysteria carries negative connotations, whereas the word seminal does not. Both have a somewhat similar origin in that each was based on a gender sterotype—at least on the surface.”
“Digging deeper we find that seminal and semen both have the common denominator of ‘seed’. Even so, one can still be frustrated that history gave men the noble role of ‘seed carrier’, while women somehow got stuck with a raging demon lost somewhere inside them. ([It's a]lmost enough to make me into a raging feminist! Ha-ha-ha.)”
“Have a good day.”