Tag Archives: twitter

Under the Weather?

Screen Shot 2014-11-27 at 12.22.31 PMGlum? Not yourself? Wheezy? Achy? Fatigued? Vomiting blood?

Perhaps you are suffering from one of these ailments. I came across this very helpful list on Geri Walton’s blog, History of the 18th and 19th Centuries, and she has kindly allowed me to repost it here.  It seems that modern medicine is not quite as abysmal as it once was, but I will say this: physicians from centuries ago had a much more creative flair when it came to naming maladies.

Ablepsy = Blindness
Abortus = Miscarriage
Ague = Malarial Fever
American Plague = Yellow Fever
Anasarca = Edema
Air between the pleura = Pneumothorax
Angina Maligna = See Putrid Sore Throat
Aneurismus = Aneurism
Aphtha or Aphthae = Thrush
Apoplectic Fit, Apoplexia, Apoplexy = Stroke
Asphycsia/Asphicsia = Cyanosis and lack of oxygen

Bad Blood = Syphilis
Bad smells or poisonous vapors = Miasma
Bilious Fever = Hepatitis, Malaria, Typhoid, or elevated temperature and bile emesis
Biliousness = Jaundice caused by Liver Disease
Black Death = Bubonic Plague
Black Fever = Visceral Leishmaniasis
Black Plague = Bubonic Plague
Black Vomit = Yellow Fever
Blackwater Fever = Complication of Malaria where red blood cells burst in the bloodstream and release hemoglobin into blood vessels and urine that frequently leads to kidney failure.
Blood Poisoning = Sepsis
Bloody Flux = Dysentery
Bloody Sweat = Hematidrosis
Bloody Urine = Hematuria or Haematuria
Blue Disease = Cyanosis
Bone-ache = Syphilis or Venereal Disease
Bone-ague = Syphilis or Venereal Disease
Bone Shave = Sciatica
Bowel Complaints = Thrush
Brain Fever = Encephalitis
Breakbone Fever = Dengue Fever
Bright’s Disease = Acute or Chronic Nephritis
Bronze John = Yellow Fever

Cachexy = Malnutrition
Cafarhus Epidemicus = Influenza
Camp Fever = Typhus
Canine Madness = Rabies
Catalepsy = Seizures or Trances
Catarrh or Catarrhal = Inflammation of the mucous membranes, a cold, or bronchitis
Catarrhus Epidemicus = Influenza
Catarrhus Vesicae = Catarrh of the bladder
Cerebritis = Lead Poisoning or Inflammation of Cerebrum
Childbed Fever = Puerperal Fever
Chin Cough – Pertussis or Whooping Cough
Chlorosis = Iron Deficiency Anemia
Cholera Biliosa = Cholera
Cholera Infantum = Cholera
Cholelithiasis = Gall Stones
Chylous Urine = Chyluria
Cold Plague = Ague characterized by contortions, convulsions, and dancing
Consumption = Pulmonary Tuberculosis
Congestive Chills = Malaria
Congestive Fever = Malaria
Colica = Colic
Coryza = Bronchitis
Cramp = Hysteria
Cramp Colic = Appendicitis
Croup = Diphtheria, Strep Throat, or spasmodic laryngitis associated with a cough and breath difficulties
Crural Phlebitis = Phlegmasia Dolens
Cyanosis = Dark skin color from lack of oxygen in blood
Cynanche Maligna = see Putrid Sore Throat
Cynanche Parotidea = Mumps
Cynanche Tonsillaris = Quinsy
Cynanche Trachealis = Croup

Day Fever = a fever lasting one day
Demence = Dementia
Dentition = Teething
Dock Fever = Yellow Fever
Dropsy = Accumulation of abnormally large amounts of fluid resulting in swelling or Edema
Dropsy on the brain = Hydrocephalus
Dropsy of the pericardium = Hydropericardium
Dropsy of the peritoneum = Ascites
Dropsy of the pleura = Hydrothorax
Drunkard’s Liver = Cirrhosis
Dry Bellyache = Lead poisoning
Dyspepsia = Indigestion, heartburn, or heart attack symptoms

Enteric Fever = Typhoid Fever
Emesis = Vomiting
Emphysema = Asthma
English Sweate or English Sweating Sickness = Sweating Sickness
Epilepsia = Epilepsy
Epitaxis = Nosebleed
Exanthemata = Exanthem

Falland-Evyl = Epilepsy
Falling Sickness = Epilepsy
Fainting = Syncope
Fatty Degeneration = Steatosis
Fit = Epilepsy
Febris Biliosa = Bilious Fever
Febris Typhoides = Typhus
Flooding = Bleeding
Flox = Thrush
Flux = Dysentery
Frox = Thrush
Frost = Thrush
French Pox = Syphilis

Glandular Fever = Mononucleosis
Grandular Disease = Acute or Chronic Nephritis
Great Pox = Syphilis
Green Fever or Green Sickness = Anemia
Grinder’s Asthma = Silicosis
Grocer’s Itch = Dermatitis caused by mites
Guinea Worm Disease = Drancunculiasis

Hallucinations due to alcoholism = Delirium Tremens
Hemiplegia = Paralysis
Haemorhagia = Bleeding
Hives = Chickenpox or Smallpox
Hip Gout = Osteomylitis
Horrors = Delirium Tremens
Hydatids = Echinococcosis
Hydropericardium = Collection of fluid around the heart resulting in constriction of the heart
Hydrophobia = Rabies
Hysteria Fit = Hysteria

Icterus = Jaundice
Idem with Tubercle = Meningitis
Idiotismus = Idiocy
Iliac Passion (blockage of the small and/or large intestine) = Ileus
Indigestion = Dyspepsia
Infantile Paralysis = Polio
Inflammation of the air tubes = Bronchitis
Inflammation of the ear = Otitis
Inflammation of the eye = Opthalmia
Inflammation of the internal membrane of the bowels = Enteritis
Inflammation of the internal membrane of the heart = Endocarditis
Inflammation of the internal membrane of the stomach = Gastritis
Inflammation of the joints = Arthritis
Inflammation of the larynx = Laryngitis
Inflammation of the liver = Hepatitis
Inflammation of the lungs = Pneumonia
Inflammation of the mucous membrane = Catarrh
Inflammation of the pericardium = Pericarditis
Inflammation of the periosteum = Periostitis
Inflammation of the testis = Orchitis
Inflammation of the pleura = Pleuritis
Inflammation of the spinal marrow = Myelitis
Inflammation of the veins = Phlebitis
Introversion of the bowels = Intussusception
Irtis = Opthalmia
Ischuria Urethralis = Stricture of the urethra or stoppage of the urine

Jail Fever = Typhus

King’s Evil = Scrofula or Tuberculous Cervical Lymphadenitis

Lagrippe – Influenza
Leiboma = Watery swelling of the eyelids
Lepra = Leprosy
Locked Jaw = Tetanus
Looseness = Diarrhea
Low Fever = Typhus
Lues Venera = Syphilis or Venereal Disease
Lung Fever = Pneumonia

Madness = Insanity
Malignant Sore Throat = Diphtheria
Membranous Croup – Diphtheria
Mesenteric Disease = Tuberculosis
Metritis = Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)
Metroperitonitis = Peritonitis
Miasmus = Poisonous vapors in the air
Milk Leg = Phlegmasia Alba Dolens
Miner’s Phthisis = Silicosis
Mismenstruation = Menstruation disorder or irregularity
Monomania = Melancholy
Morbus Pancreaticus = Diseases of the pancreas
Mormal = Gangrene

Nephrosis = Edema but is now used to described kidney degeneration
Nervous Prostration = Physical and mental exhaustion
Nutmeg Liver = Cirrhosis

Obstipation = Constipation
Ophthalmitis = Ophthalmia
Ophthalmia Purulenta = Ophthalmia

Palsy = Paralysis
Paralytic Fit = Paralysis
Paramenia = Menstruation disorder or irregularity
Paraplegia = Paralysis
Paronychia = Whitlow
Partus = Childbirth
Paroxysm = Convulsion
Perimetritis = Peritonitis
Pernicious Fever = Malaria
Pestis = Plague
Petechial Fever = Typhus
Phlegmasia Alba Dolens = A variety of diseases related to Deep Vein Thrombosis
Phrenitis = Encephalitis
Phthisis = Pulmonary Tuberculosis
Piles = Hemorrhoids
Pleuritis = Pleurisy
Podagra = Gout
Poliomyelitis = Polio
Potter’s Asthma =  Inflammation of the lungs similar to Silicosis.
Potter’s Rot = Silicosis
Puking Fever = Milk Sickness
Purples = Purpura
Purging = Diarrhea
Putrid Fever = Diphtheria
Putrid Sore Throat = Ulceration of an acute form that attacked the tonsils, see Quinsy
Pyrosis = Heartburn

Quinsy = Tonsillitis or Peritonsillar Abscess

Rachitis – Rickets
Remittent Fever = Malaria
Rheumatism = Sciatica
Rose Cold = Hay Fever
Rosalia = Scarlatina
Rubeola = German Measles
Rupture = Hernia

Scarlatina = Scarlet Fever
Scarlet Rash = Roseola
Scorbutus = Scurvy
Scrivener’s Palsy = Writer’s Cramp
Screws = Rheumatism
Senectus = Old Age
Shakes = Delirium Tremens
Skin Blisters = Shingles
Ship Fever = Typhus
Sloes = Milk sickness
Sore Throat Distemper = Diphtheria or Quinsy
Spasms = Hysteria
Spotted Fever = Typhus or Meningitis
St. Anthony’s Fire = Erysipelas and also for any skin that was bright red in appearance
Stranguria or Stranguary = Kidney Stones
St. Vitus’s Dance = Chorea
Sudor Anglicus = Sweating Sickness
Sugar in the liver = Diabetes
Swamp Sickness = Malaria, Typhoid, or Encephalitis
Swine Pox = Chickenpox or Smallpox

Tabes Mesenterica = Tuberculosis
Taenia = Tape Worm
Tic Douloureux = Trigeminal Neuralgia
Trismus = Tetanus
Turn of Life = Menstruation disorder or irregularity
Tussis Convulsiva = Whooping Cough
Typhus Icterodes = Yellow Fever

Ulcerated Sore Throat = Putrid Sore Throat
Ulcus = Ulcer
Uleus = Ulceration of the stomach
Under Childbed = Puerperal Fever
Under Disease = Salivation

Varicella = Chickenpox or Hives
Variola = Smallpox
Vermes = Worms
Vesicae = Disease of the kidneys or bladder
Viper’s Dance = Chorea
Vomiting of blood = Hematemesis

Wasting Away = Atrophy
Water Brash = Heartburn Pyrosis
Water on the Brain = Hydrocephalus
Water Pox = Chickenpox or Smallpox
White Mouth = Thrush
White Leg = Phlegmasia Alba Dolens
White Swelling = Scrofula, also known as Tuberculous Cervical Lymphadenitis
Winter Fever = Pneumonia
Womb Fever = Infection of the uterus

Yellowjacket = Yellow Fever

With compliments,


The Americanist Independent

How Not to Use Twitter

Screen Shot 2014-10-07 at 7.49.33 PMOr rather…how to use Twitter poorly. This post will initiate a series discussing the things one should and should not do when using Twitter…or if you like, Social Media etiquette. I am specifically addressing people involved with historical inquiry and education – teachers, students, scholars, and everyone else. But this can just as easily apply to anyone.

I am on Twitter constantly. My students think it is funny that the old guy has a Twitter account, but I assure them that I am not interested in the Kardashians or any of the other Internet sensations out there, but rather the pursuit of knowledge and – here it is folks….INTERACTION with others who are doing the same thing.

Interaction means real conversation with real people. Note the message on the left I received from a radio host who does a show on the Constitution. I initially followed him to perhaps get a little insight on this foundational document – maybe engage in some conversation. But then I received his stupid, impersonal, meaningless automated message.

I’ll admit my response was a little snarky (I’m the king of snark). But honestly…an automated message? This is my Twitter pet peeve. I have such an unfavorable reaction to these because they serve to undermine the very best application of the platform. Here is what an automated message says: “Hi, thanks for following me. I am far too important to personally introduce myself to a peon like you (did you notice, I have 57k followers!) – but I would still like you to follow my other shit – and buy stuff too.”

No thanks.

Now normally I would publicly call this person out. But seeing that the message was intended to be private (fake or not), I respect that person’s privacy and thus blacked out their handle and website. But none of that really matters. The image simply serves as an example of what NOT to do. A very good example…I might add. Full disclosure: I used to employ one of these automated systems until I realized how obnoxious they were.  Friends, if you want to reach out to a new follower then send them a personal message. Sheesh. If you don’t, you just look like a bot. And NOBODY likes a bot.

With compliments,


The Lee v. Grant Twitter Experiment

Screen Shot 2014-08-01 at 9.21.40 AMFrom time to time, as you all by now surely know, I ask some sort of little question on Twitter to get the ball rolling toward a conversation. Recently I asked the hypothetical: “Who would you rather have on your side, Grant or Lee…and why?” Kind of a silly question of course, since there are so many other factors to consider when it comes to victory and defeat, but my point was to get people talking about the military prowess of each commander. 

The most interesting thing happened. The votes were unanimously cast for Ulysses S. Grant. This surprised me a little – the Twitter universes is a big place, and surely there have to be some Lee fans out there. But not this time.

A number of things could explain this. One, we are looking at these two men retrospectively and well, we know who won. So yes, we all like to pick a winner.

But I think there is more to it than that. Answers indicate that Lee was overrated both in his time and by subsequent generations…that he was too audacious and unnecessarily bled his army to defeat. Grant, on the other hand, masterfully used the resources that those before him did (or could) not. This suggests to me that myths surrounding both men have changed drastically over the last several decades. 

Others suggested that northern leaning sentiment is slowly taking over the Internet – that perhaps a less technologically savvy older generation favors the Lee camp and thus doesn’t really use social media platforms to speak their minds. I’m not sure if I agree with this – I have seen plenty of web-based pro-Confederate groups who maintain active forums declaring the many virtues of their beloved Robert E. Lee.

At least one person figured that I might have driven the pro-Lee crew away and they just did not participate. After all, besides being a “Yankee metrosexual wearing purple sunglasses” I am also on record as favoring the Union cause…maybe I was just baiting them. (I wasn’t. I am also on record as stating that I think RE Lee was a hell of a soldier) 

I’ll give the Lee crew a chance to weigh in here. But as it stands so far – Grant is a clear winner in the “who would you rather have on your side” contest.

With compliments,


Do Americans lack a historical consciousness?

Screen shot 2014-02-24 at 10.21.46 AMWell, I am starting to think so anyway – at least some of them do. Lately, I have been going full throttle with reading, writing, and discussing American history. Why not right? I went to college for a million years, why not do what I was trained to do?

At any rate, I am especially interested in engaging the public – to find out what they know…what they want to know…what they think about US history.

Twitter has been absolutely wonderful for this. Real time conversations with real people! Imagine that!! Who knew just a few short years ago that this would be how we interact?

But here’s what I have discovered – people say the darndest things. Oh sure I have had some great conversations with some very knowledgeable folks. But I have also run across a sort of alarming theme. Many Americans have no sense of their own history.

Case in point: I recently stumbled upon an Obama critic who claimed that the president was the “most divisive POTUS in American history.”

REALLY??? Say what you will about El Presidente but let’s see, I can think of at least one time in our history when things got just a tad stickier. You know…when Abraham Lincoln was elected, eleven states seceded from the Union, war broke out, and roughly 820,000 people died. I would say that the political climate of the mid-nineteenth century was just a hair more fractious than things today. But I tell you what – if more people knew about the issues that unfolded during the Civil War era, they would certainly better understand the divisions of today – whether they be racial, sectional, political, whatever.

The Civil War Trust suggests that the war is the “central event in America’s historical consciousness.” Now, I love the CWT but I think they have missed the mark – at least for those Americans whose historical consciousness extends only as far back as their own lifetime.

Well anyway – I called the Twitter guy out and he just got all angry and defensive. Whatever – choose your battles, right?

So – that’s my observation for this morning…Off I go to engage the public. The good news? I would be willing to wager that most of my readers are on the stick when it comes to historical consciousness. Maybe all is not lost. Huzzah!



PS – if you happen to read this and think I am full of crap – let me know! I welcome all comments and criticism. I know….tell me on Twitter

Can Social Media Bridge the Gulf Between Academic Historians and the Public?

Screen shot 2014-01-07 at 9.10.39 AMYears ago, before the Internet opened the doors for real-time access to just about anyone anywhere in the world, the television historical documentary probably stood alone as the medium most likely to serve as the middle ground on which academic historians and an informed public might relate.

But any potential for a sustained conversation emerging from this medium quickly withered on the vine. In 1996, historian Gary Gallagher, writing of Ken Burns’s The Civil War, noted reactions among academics, who protested the absence of issues falling outside the field of military history (such as the home front, religion, or gender themes) and the public, who focused on the military and picked nits over missing campaigns and the prominence of the eastern theater of war. The two groups could not see eye-to-eye.

But Gallagher really went after academics. They, he argued, were “content to speak to one another in a language that [excluded] anyone outside the university community…a sense of “we know best” [permeated] much of their commentary about Burns.” In short, scholars were put off by the public’s fondness for battles, generals, and narrative integrity. They wanted “real history” as defined by scholars. One might assume then, that these scholars returned to their studies and continued to ignore the public. Perhaps they proceeded with their dense works laden with esoteric language that no one ever read. Who knows?

Has anything changed? Well…there is certainly hope for a bright future. The advent of blogging and micro-blogging (i.e. Twitter) has extended the reach of those academics who are both ready to accept the literate public into their super-special club, and willing to embrace the tools that make it possible.

The limits of blogging are defined only by the limits of the blogger. Not all blogs are created equal. Academics who blog, and there are a number of first-rate bloggers, are successful precisely because of their openness, their consistency, their engagement with the commenting public (regardless of the comment) and of course, their historical content – often defined not by scholars…but by the public scholars seek to reach.

Twitter is perhaps the most powerful, but alas, most misunderstood and misused tool. Many historians, historical institutions, and lay people alike miss opportunities to create and maintain informed conversations on historical matters (in 140 characters or less – believe me…it’s possible) by ignoring this communication powerhouse or at best using it as a virtual bulletin board. Granted, Twitter can be a number of things – a platform for self-indulgent narcissists with too much time on their hands, or, it can be a media dumping ground – harnessed by would-be marketers for free advertising. Both fail miserably to reach anyone. But with patience and attentiveness, Twitter can (and does) facilitate discourse between academic and academic, academic and the public, and the public with everyone.

In 2014, the University still is what it is (snicker…more on that later). For now, exclusivity reigns triumphant, and a significant number (but most certainly not all) of its scholars look condescendingly at a public who just doesn’t know any better…all the while creating more of the same. But as things change – and they always do – some academics are extending their reach beyond the hallowed halls of academia, breaking traditions, defying convention, coloring outside the lines, and (if you can believe it) functioning in the real world.

Which means the way we teach and learn history is changing too. And yes, I’ve long ago added my Twitter handle and blog addresses to my vita. You know…I am not kidding about this.

With compliments,