Forgive me for this, but I find these things fascinating. Today I was reading about eye health when I came across the opias: myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), presbyopia—This one caught me. Seriously, there’s a presbyopia?

photo-2Indeed there is. Oh, those Greek origins!

Hopefully the words I tracked down and looked up are correct, but even if not, it’s a fun exercise—one that helps with lateral thinking.

Opia is a condition having to do with the eye. To find the kind of opia, we of course look to the front of the word. Myopia comes from myein, a Greek word meaning to shut. Wondering about the etymology, I came across associations with closing the eyes and even being closed-minded.

I get that hyperopia would go awry in the opposite way. Hyper, meaning beyond. Farsighted and even longsighted appear in the etymology.  And then there’s presbyopia, which made me think of Presbyterian, in my mental word association game.

Presby- has to do with age. Presbyopia is the need for reading glasses, which typically (not always) happens with age. Presbyterian is a church governed by the lay elders.

You try it. Here’s the game I played yesterday when someone asked me to spell ambidextrous. Ready? Make the connections: Ambidextrous and ambivalence. Go!