2004-02-04 / Features

Gore Name Not Synonymous With Illness Chills

Gore Name Not Synonymous With Illness Chills

Former Vice President Albert Gore addressed an audience at the Beacon Theater in Manhattan on January 14. According to Gazette reader Philip Yankoschuk of Bayside, in spite of the freezing temperatures gripping the metropolitan area, Gore, known for his environmental activist stance, discussed global warming at length.

Yankoschuk was struck by the irony of the situation. Could it be, he wondered, if Gore had also mentioned that a homonym of his own name, "algor," means "the chill that comes before a fever? He asked that very question in a letter to the editors of a number of Queens community newspapers.

According to Yankoschuk, algor, "coldness or chill, esp. at the onset of fever," is found in his 1948 edition of The American College Dictionary (New York and London, Harper Brothers Publishers). The term is used in the scientific and academic discipline of pathology.

"Is it possible that in 56 years the word ‘algor’ has become obsolete or politically incorrect?" Yankoschuk asked. No dictionary in the Gazette offices, including a 1961 Webster’s Third Edition Unabridged lists the word. "Algor" apparently is now used exclusively by practitioners of the disciplines in which it was first employed. Political incorrectness would not appear to be a consideration.

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