―The creation of terms by means of abbreviation occurs in medicine of new time and is its characteristic feature… The need for this way of term formation is determined by the fact that the long names, reflecting various medical concepts, hinder the communication of the specialists between themselves and with patients‖ [1:26]. The length of terminological formations of influence, in our opinion, and the fact that the scientific speech, which conforms to requirements such as the conciseness, clarity, logical order of presentation, can’t afford the excessive
proliferation of terminological combinations. The analysis of the studied literature on ophthalmology for the last 10 years has revealed a great number of the abbreviations in ophthalmic terminological system. This confirms the statement, that the abbreviated term, as a rule, is the semantic core of the article. Among the causes of formation of abbreviated terms, we should consider high frequency of use of terminological units representing the subject of the communication. Of course, there abbreviations, which are actively used almost everywhere, they become part of terminology, presenting its special layer – the layer of abbreviated terminology.
Shortened words or the so-called abbreviations represent a completely new type of word formation which entered into common use. Abbreviation serves as a way of nominations for the concepts, which were originally identified descriptively with the help of attributive word-combinations.
AS for the activation of the process of abbreviation in modern scientific and technical terminology there is an opinion, that ―the way of the word-formation is one
of the most productive in the present time, as evidenced by the presence of a multitude of new acronyms, not registered in dictionaries yet‖ [3:179]. For example,‖Ssuch a detailed analysis of FDM (form-deprivation myopia), DIM (defocus-induced myopia), and DIH (defocus-induced hyperopia) will determine the morphological similarity of the nasal and temporal regions of the retina, choroid, and cartilaginous sclera in all three experimental conditions‖ [2:41].
According to some researchers use of abbreviation in medical terminology can be explained by, a number of extralinguistic reasons and the main of them is the
requirement to save time and space. A large volume of documentation which every doctor should fill in and a high degree of its formalization stimulated intensive introduction of abbreviations in medical practice. The use of abbreviations is also connected with the inevitable reduction of multicomponent terminological combinations, designed to provide accurate and complete characteristic of the phenomenon. So the term age-related macular degeneration in abbreviated form looks like ARMD. Other clinical terms proliferative diabetic retinopathy – is reduced to a PDR, and transsclerally sutured posterior chamber lens has the reduced form of the TS-SPCL.
Two tendencies can be clearly observed in the ophthalmic literature: one is the
use of multicomponent terminological combinations and complicated terms, the other
– broad use of the reduced forms of the units.
At first sight the trends seem to be mutually exclusive. In reality, they represent the unity of opposites, which reflects the existing laws in terms formation which are conditioned on the one hand by the complexity of the phenomena, objects and concepts, a nomination which are multi-component terminological units, and, on the other hand, the growing desire to save the language means in connection with acceleration of the process of communication.
In this research there has been studied the productivity of the traditional ways of abbreviations of terms in order to identify relevant trends. There is an opinion that the
abbreviations in medical terminology are formed by more diverse ways than in the literary language. In the literature there are two main ways of reductions: ―… reduction of a word by its initial letters, or by its main parts. In medicine, one name
of line-long as a full nominal sentence is reduced selectively. But nevertheless these abbreviations are formed constructively according to the rules. These are actually abbreviation models… Abbreviation in medicine historically developed from a phenomenon syncope (release of a syllable) and from the conventional techniques of roots joining…‖ [1:26].
In the course of the study of terminological abbreviations in ophthalmology, it was found that abbreviation is one of the most important sources of updating of terminology presently and, probably, leading way of terms formation in English medical terminology in the future.
Depending on the type and degree of reduction of the initial one component term or terminological combination, as well as ways of integration of reduced
elements into a whole unit in the terminology of ophthalmology we have identified the following structural models of terms-abbreviations:
1) initial abbreviation, when reduced form is formed by the initial letters of the
components of the terminological combinations or term, such as CRD (cone-rod dystrophy) A (accommodation), ALPI (argon laser peripheral iridoplasty);
2) truncation, when the reduced form is formed by the preservation of the first syllable, less the second or last syllable, in the term or in the components of terminological combination, E. g.: ext (external), Cyl (cylinder), cat (cataract), epi (epithelium), conj (conjunctiva), diam (diameter);
3) contraction, when the reduced form is formed by the preservation of a number of consonant letters of the term and thereby create a consonative
abbreviation, such as a cd (candela), XT (exotropia), or by telescopy, when only part of the components of terminological combinations or compound word is reduced but the other part remains without changes, E. g.: ChBFlow (Choroidal blood flow);
4) mixed abbreviation, or the terms – symbols, based on the application of specific symbols used in addition to the terms in the medical literature (it is about signs-symbols), that is, the use of reduced forms, and signs – symbols in the term, E. g.:, A/I-PACG (acute intermittent primary angle-closure glaucoma), LOCS II (Lens Opacification Classification System II), 22.5 D IOL (22.5 dioptre intraocular lens), I/P (iris and pupil), D&I (dilation and irrigation).
Usually abbreviations are used more often than the terms: EEG
(electroencephalogram) – электроэнцефалограмма, FP (fundus photo) – снимок глазного дна, IOP (intraocular pressure) – внутриглазное давление. As a rule, abbreviations are pronounced by letters. Whenabbreviation is found only in the written language, E. g.: fc (footcandle), D (diopter) it is read as a complete word. In accordance with the tradition and norm of formation of abbreviations initial abbreviations (81% of all abbreviations) are the most numerous in the modern English terminology, of ophthalmology, E. g.: COAG (chronic open-angle glaucoma), FAZ (foveal avascular zone), FEVR (familial exudative vitreoretinopathy), Tn (intraocular tension). Most often this type of abbreviation is typical for the terms of a clinical character, i. e. the terms, which are used to describe the symptoms and course of the disease.
According to some scientists, ―… in order to use of the advantages of initial
abbreviation and approximation phonomorphological composition of abbreviations
to the linguistic norm people use the technique of deliberate adjustment of the structure of the abbreviations to the structure of literary vocabulary‖ [5:33]. On the issue of the nomination of abbreviations, which coincide with the literary vocabulary, there are several points of view.
Some scientists call such terms acronyms, others believe that the acronym is any initial abbreviation. In this study, we rely on the definition of the term acronym:
―acronym is the combination of the first letters of component words, which is pronounced as word‖. We call acronyms not only abbreviations, coinciding with the words of literary vocabulary, but also the initial abbreviations which are read not for the name of the components of the letters, but as a word: CAT (computerized axial tomography), CAR (cancer-associated retinopathy), ARM (age-related maculopathy).
In medicine, and in ophthalmology in particular, the optical quantum generator used for operations and for some types of therapeutic treatment received the name of the laser-light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation.
The term ―laser‖ is an acronym as it pronounced as a word, though it does not match any previously known word in literary vocabulary. This device has positively recommended itself in medical practice and therefore it is applied in all areas of medicine. In connection with this a large number of terminological combinations contain this acronym in its composition. E. g.: YAG-laser (yttrium-aluminum-garnet laser), ALPI (argon laser peripheral iridoplasty). Moreover, in the sample of the ophthalmologic abbreviations we found the acronym which contains in its part another acronym: LASIK (laser-assisted intrastromal keratomileusis): As life
expectancy increases, high proportion of LASIK patients will require a cataract extraction‖. All in all we registered 111 (from and 8,965 units) terminological combinations, containing the term ―laser‖.
The tendency to receive abbreviations, similar to the word of literary vocabulary can be observed in the other examples: PARK (photoastigmatic refractive keratectomy), FACT (Functional Acuity Contrast Test). Widely used in medicine initial type of reduction was used at obtaining an abbreviation PARK. In the formation of abbreviations IOL (intraocular lens) the initial letters of the term element which made the first word were used: intra and ocular as well as the first letter of the second component of terminological combination: lens. Thus, we see that
in the development of abbreviations PARK and IOL scientists used both a method of initialabbreviation and in method of reduction by the initial letters of the term elements to get an abbreviation, coinciding with the words of literary vocabulary.
On the other hand, for the same purpose dropping out some of the components of the terminological composition in the abbreviations is applied, if their inclusion would have prevented the creation of abbreviation similar to a literary word, E. g.: abbreviation IRMA (intraretinal microvascular abnormality).
We believe that inclusion of the letters from the second term element (as it
happened with the first term element — intraretinal), which is the part of the adjective
―microvascular‖ into abbreviation would have given the abbreviation a greater
accuracy. But in this case, the identity of abbreviation to non-abbreviated word would be violated.
In special literature, it is noted that ‖cronym – is the result of the assimilation of
abbreviation by the language system and that under the influence of world-building systems of the language acronymia creates and develops word-formation model. In accordance with this, in the long-term use of the acronym, the latter may acquire the category of number and case in the text, enter the synonymous series and form homonyms to itself. E. g.: ―In lasers the electrons are bound in toms or stuck in piece of semiconductor crystal‖ [3:178].
We analyzed the abbreviations of initial type and got the following results.
Letter abbreviation in ophthalmic terminology is presented by the following types:
one — digit abbreviation – 15 units (2.9 % of all abbreviations): A (accommodation),
H (hyperopia, F (focus) etc;
double-digit abbreviations 91 units(17.7 % of all abbreviations): CB (chronic blepharitis),
PE (pigment epithelium), OZ (optical zone) etc;
three-digit abbreviations – 238 units (46.4 % of all abbreviations): SLT (selective laser trabeculoplasty),
TRD (tractional retinal detachment),
VEP (visual-evoked potential) etc;
four-digit abbreviations – 79 units (15.4 % of all abbreviations): SMON (subacute myelo-optic neuropathy),
ROAF (reversed ophthalmic artery flow), PORN (progressive outer retinal necrosis) etc;
sometimes five-digit abbreviations – 14 units (2.7 % of all abbreviations) and six-digit abbreviations – 4 units (0.8 % of all abbreviations):
PBRVO (peripheral branch retinal vein occlusion),
APMPPE (acute posterior multifocal placoid pigment epitheliopathy) etc.
As a result of the conducted analysis it can be concluded that the most common abbreviations of initial type in the terminology of ophthalmology are three-digit abbreviations. They are three times more numerous than two-and four-digit initial
Among the given types of abbreviations in ophthalmology there are the truncated terms. The main type of truncation is the truncation of the final term (apocope): Ast (astigmatism), cat (cataract), cyl (cylinder). The term scanner (scintiscanner) is the truncation of the beginning of the term (apheresis). The combined truncation, i. e. a combination of two types – apheresis and apocope, is a rare example, scrip (prescription).
One of the manifestations of the law of economy of speech can be considered the formation of telescope nominations, or contraction of the terms: ChBFlow (Choroidal blood flow), XT (exotropia). However, this kind of formation of acronyms
does not have the significant role in the expansion of the terminology of
The combined abbreviations, or terms-symbols, are the combination of the
following abbreviations and / or characters: HSV1, HSV2 (herpes simplex virus type
1 and 2), PC UV 20-24 IOL (posterior chamber ultraviolet 20-24 intraocular lens). Such reductions are usually used in catalogs, professional advertising, and computer programs.
Over the recent decades the phenomenon of homonyms and synonyms is witnessed to take place among the abbreviation of ophthalmic term systems. Progressive replenishment of terms-abbreviations with their unmodified tendency to synonymy and homonymy is a significant fact that deserves to be studied. Either homonymy or synonymy often occurs among the terms of the initial type abbreviations. Sometimes the acronym can also act both a homonym and a synonym.
Synonyms-abbreviations are fairly common in the study sublanguage of
medicine [ Хантакова]. We have registered 12 pairs of synonyms-abbreviations: ARMD, AMD (age-related macular degeneration); F, VF (visual field); A, Acc (accommodation); X, XP (exophoria); UCVA, UNCVA (uncorrected visual acuity); C,
Cyl (cylinder); PK, PKP (penetrating keratoplasty), PAOG, POAG (primary open — angle glaucoma); SH, SCH (suprachoroidal hemorrhage), PAN, PN (periarteritis nodosa); NII, ON (optic nerve); TT, TTT (transpupillary thermotherapy).
Homonymous abbreviations are much more common in ophthalmic terminology combinations. We found 64 homonymous abbreviations:
AC (accommodative convergence, anterior chamber); ACC – (accommodative, anterior central curve); AION (anterior ischemic optic neuritis, anterior ischemic optic neuropathy); ALK (automated lamellar keratoplasty, automated laser
keratomileusis); AV (arteriovenous, artery-to-vein ratio); ARC (abnormal retinal correspondence, AIDS-related complex); C (contraction, cylinder, cylindrical lens); CA (cancer, carcinoma); CAT (computerized axial tomography, cataract); CB (chronic blepharitis, ciliary body); C/D (cup-to-disc ratio), cd (candela); CCD (charge coupled device, choriocapillaris degeneration); D (dexter, distance, diopter); EMP (epiretinal membrane proliferation, epimacular proliferation; F (focus, visual field); H (hyperopia, hypermetropia, hyperphoria; HA (headache, hydroxyapatite); K (cornea curvature, Kelvin, keratometric power; LE (left eye, left esophoria); M (macula, myopic); OLM (ophthalmic laser microgonioscope, ophthalmic laser microendoscope); OPL (plexiform outer layer, optical path length); p (optic papilla
and pupil); PC (posterior chamber, posterior capsule, polycarbonate, posterior curve); R (refraction, resection, retinoscopy, right); SCH (suprachoroidal hemorrhage, subconjunctival hemorrhage); EOC (electro-oculogram, electro-oculography); MR (manifest refraction, medial rectus); ERG (electroretinography, electroretinogram); ENG (electronystagmography, electronystagmogram); SEM (slow eye movement, scanning electron microscope); Tn (normal tension, ocular tension); PK (penetrating keratoplasty, photorefractive keratoplasty).
Some English abbreviations of ophthalmic terminology became international.
E. g.: LASIK (laser-assisted intrastromal keratomileusis); MR (medial rectus); YAG laser (yttrium-aluminum-garnet laser). This is due to the fact that English has became the universal language of communication between scientists.
The performed study resulted in the following data. The formation of different kinds of abbreviations is a characteristic of English ophthalmology, which can be
explained by the desire for economy of linguistic resources, manifested in the loss of inflections, the preferred use of mono — or disyllabic words, abbreviations, and grammatical forms. Abbreviations require special attention, because, in addition to the given standard abbreviations in the dictionaries, there are author neologisms, which necessarily require interpretation. Moreover, the group of abbreviations has the phenomena of synonymy and homonymy. The most common way to create abbreviations in the studied sublanguage of medicine is the initial abbreviation, various versions of which reached on average about 70% of all abbreviations. The trend to abbreviation in ophthalmic terminology should perhaps be considered as a natural reaction of native speakers to the significant increase in multicomponent terminological combinations that cause the difficulty in communication.
The study and systematization of abbreviations has the theoretical and practical importance. The terminological dictionaries, which composition must include the list of abbreviations used in this particular field of science, are of a special role.
Материал взят из: Научно-практический журнал “Вестник ИрГСХА” Выпуск 56