noun; compounding
Referring to an inability to sneeze. A literature search reveals the first use of asneezia in a paper published in the British Journal of Psychiatry in April 1990. The (Indian) physicians in the paper go on to describe the inability of some people to sneeze, classifying it as an abnormal medical condition requiring treatment, and coining this neologism. The –ia suffix makes it seem superficially like a credible medical condition, especially when the prefix a- is also used, but the root morpheme ‘sneeze,’ of distinctly non-Latin origin, detracts from the credibility of the term. ‘Asternutus’ or ‘Asternutation’ would be a more viable term, consisting in meaning and with the bulk of medical terminology currently in existence. Asneezia may appear popular, but will likely die out a nonce term, failing to integrate within medical jargon.
Psychology Today reported that while sneezing is seen as healthy [in India], the inability to sneeze is considered a medical problem known as asneezia.
Etymology : a- + sneez(e) + -ia. a-, from Latin a-, short for ab ‘away from,’ or its cognate, Greek. a-, short for apo ‘away from, from.’ Sneeze, from Old English fneosan ‘to snort, sneeze,’ from Proto Germanic *fneusanan, from *fneu-s- ‘sneeze,’ of imitative origin, as is PIE *pneu- 'to breathe.' –ia, from Latin –ia ‘land, state, medical condition’
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Last modified: 10 June 2008