Watch ology word endings

The suffix -ology on words means the study of something. Words with this ending become jargon when used in sentences such as these.

Jargon: No pathology was found. Correct: No pathologic condition was found.

Jargon: Cytology was normal.

Correct: Cytological findings were normal.

Jargon: Serology was negative. Correct: Serologic findings were negative.

For example, "the only pathology found" translates into "the only study of pathogens found." It does not mean what scientists intend, "the only pathogens found" or "the only tissue damage by a pathogen." Likewise, "etiology" is not a pompous synonym of "cause" to be used in phrases like "the etiology of the disease"; it is the study and description of causes.

Note that words ending in -ical need an editorial check. Some editors drop the al, but others don't, as in pathologic vs. pathological. Be consistent.

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