Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 18

Thread: the organs

  1. #1
    Birne is offline Newbie
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • German
      • Home Country:
      • Germany
      • Current Location:
      • Poland
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Posts
    28
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default the organs

    Hello

    I have recently encountered a sentence explaining the difference between illness and disease.
    The rule says: disease is used for illnesses affecting the organs, e.g. she has heart disease.

    I am going nuts trying to figure out why there is: the organs (why the is used there?). Any clue? I would say just organs without the

    thanks a million

  2. #2
    MikeNewYork's Avatar
    MikeNewYork is offline VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Academic
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    14,681
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: the organs

    Either would work. One could use "the" organs if one saw them as a finite number of body parts.

  3. #3
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Philippines
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    43,276
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: the organs

    Is it a correct definition BTW?

  4. #4
    Raymott's Avatar
    Raymott is offline VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Academic
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Australia
      • Current Location:
      • Australia
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    19,756
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: the organs

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    Is it a correct definition BTW?
    No.
    Well, I'll qualify that. 'Disease' is certainly used for an illness of the organs. But that's not a comparison. And I'm trying to think of an illness that doesn't affect an organ.

  5. #5
    MikeNewYork's Avatar
    MikeNewYork is offline VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Academic
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    14,681
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: the organs

    In most cases, the words are used interchangeably. And it is difficult to come up one of either that does not affect at least one of the body's organ systems. A few people have tried to create a difference between actual disease (involves body pathology) and illness, which includes disease, but can also include the perception of illness even where there is no disease. In my view, this as usually a distinction without a difference.

  6. #6
    5jj's Avatar
    5jj is offline VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Retired English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • Czech Republic
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    28,168
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: the organs

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeNewYork View Post
    In most cases, the words are used interchangeably.
    As a speaker of BrE, I have to disagree. As a non-expert in medicine (unlike Raymott), I think we use 'disease' for something caused by germs/virus/bacteria (we non-experts can't tell the difference) that we can put a name to. Illness can cover a multitude of things including, at the basic level, simply feeling unwell.

    I could not begin to refine those fairly crude ideas. I am simply making the point that, in BrE at least, the two words are not often interchangeable.

  7. #7
    MikeNewYork's Avatar
    MikeNewYork is offline VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Academic
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    14,681
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: the organs

    So in BrE, an autoimmune disease such as Systemic Lupus Erythematosus would be an illness but not a disease?

  8. #8
    5jj's Avatar
    5jj is offline VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Retired English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • Czech Republic
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    28,168
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: the organs

    I am not sure what I said that makes you think that.

  9. #9
    MikeNewYork's Avatar
    MikeNewYork is offline VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Academic
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    14,681
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: the organs

    I thought you were confining "disease" to something infectious. You mentioned germs, virus, bacteria.

  10. #10
    emsr2d2's Avatar
    emsr2d2 is offline Moderator
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • UK
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    23,441
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: the organs

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeNewYork View Post
    So in BrE, an autoimmune disease such as Systemic Lupus Erythematosus would be an illness but not a disease?
    I'm sure there's a great reason you picked an illness/disease which 99.9% of the users of the forum haven't heard of, but for the life of me I can't work out what it might be. If anyone mentioned that illness/disease to me, I would make no attempt to decide/ascertain which camp it falls in, I would simply say "I've no idea what that is" and probably head off to a more interesting and comprehensible conversation.
    Remember - correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing make posts much easier to read.

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. reproductive organs (children's language)
    By Barly in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 14-Nov-2012, 11:48
  2. most private of organs
    By NewHope in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 12-Oct-2004, 13:29

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •