Sigmoid

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eldin raigmore
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Sigmoid

Post by eldin raigmore »

Is the word “sigmoid” a contraction of the proper name “Sigmund Freud”?

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Dormouse559
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Re: Sigmoid

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No, it's from Ancient Greek σιγμοειδής, equivalent to sigma + -oid. Why do you ask?

Salmoneus
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Re: Sigmoid

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Because it's a pun. He doesn't really want an answer.

Given that these posts are just one post at a time, no answer is wanted, and it's hard to have any meaningful conversation about them, maybe eldin could consolidate them into a single "eldin's puns" thread? It might get his serious threads more attention...

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eldin raigmore
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Re: Sigmoid

Post by eldin raigmore »

Dormouse559 wrote:
19 Mar 2020 23:09
No, it's from Ancient Greek σιγμοειδής, equivalent to sigma + -oid. Why do you ask?
Because it occurred to me while watching an episode of “it’s OK to be smart”, the one about flattening the curve.
He showed that the logistic growth-curve in total number of COVID cases was an S-shaped sigmoid curve.
When he said “sigmoid” I thought of Sigmund Freud.

The part of the large bowel just before the rectum (i.e. the straight part) is curved in an S-shape and is called “the sigmoid colon” (the S-like end).
Since Freud and/or some of his disciples attributed great significance to toilet-training, I thought it natural that sigmoid and Sigmund Freud should be semantically and/or etymologically connected somehow.

Salmoneus is right that I thought it was funny; and also right that I strongly doubted the answer would be “yes”.

But more than once such questions have produced surprising answers!

More often, though, someone will come up with a funny answer.

Salmoneus is right a third time; I can live without an answer; though I would like one, and in fact I appreciate your answer.

———

In case you speak a brand of English in which -oid doesn’t rhyme with Freud,
if you leave out the “-und Fr-“ from “Sigmund Freud”, in my and Salmoneus’s ‘lects it sounds like “Sigm- -oid”.

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