I am ... , I have ... , I suffer from ... : A Linguist Reflects on the Language of Illness and Disease

  title={I am ... , I have ... , I suffer from ... : A Linguist Reflects on the Language of Illness and Disease},
  author={Suzanne Fleischman},
  journal={Journal of Medical Humanities},
  • S. Fleischman
  • Published 1 March 1999
  • Linguistics
  • Journal of Medical Humanities
Part personal documentary, part exercise in medical semantics, this essay brings the analytical tools of a linguist and the human perspective of a patient receiving treatment in the American health care system to bear on the language we use—for the most part unconsciously—to talk about illness and disease. Topics to be explored include linguistic ramifications of the illness/disease distinction; referring expressions for health disorders; the “linguistic construction” of disease (what's in a… 
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