What's in a word? 

Dyscopia, n. Inability to be content in a state of abundance.

The Latin word "copia" means "plenty" or "abundance". You may recognise it as part of the word "cornucopia" – meaning "horn of plenty"– which is a mythical symbol of abundance (cornu=horn, copia=plenty or copious). So "dyscopia", if it were a real Latin word, would literally mean "difficulty attaining abundance" or simply being poor. It could also be taken to mean a state of being unable to recognise when abundance has been attained - having plenty but wanting more, and as such, would describe a mental condition by which much of the population of the developed world is afflicted.

The word "dyscopia" is sometimes used as a wry cryptic message in medical notes to alert involved carers to the fact that there might be more than the patient's immediate wellbeing to consider. For example a youngster being treated for asthma might have a comment "♀=dyscopia" in the margin of their medical notes to indicate to another treating practitioner that they should choose their words carefully when talking to the child's parents because the mother is not coping well with the situation. In this context it is a made-up word which means "not coping" and is, perhaps ironically, an example of the dry humour used by health care professionals to help them cope with the stresses of their work. However, it should be remembered that trivialising people's genuine medical needs is not a subject to to be taken lightly.

In the tradition of having-a-name-for-everythingism, medical literature, with another made-up meaning (no wry humour here, just simple ignorance/laziness), uses "dyscopia" to describe difficulty or inability in copying. It is mainly used in the context of writing or drawing skills and is considered a sub-category of dyspraxia (difficulty in performing coordinated movement) and related to dysgraphia (difficulty with writing). Loosely it is taken to mean "not good at copying" for which the correct latin word (no need to make anything up) would be "dystranscribia" (http://www.archives.nd.edu/cgi-bin/lookdown.pl?copy). These so-called diagnoses, like many others, are really nothing more than a description of symptoms which has been translated to Latin to make it sound more authoritative on the basis of quid quid latine dictum sit, profundum videtur (anything said in Latin seems profound).

On an obliquely related note:

LEXICOGRAPHER, n. A pestilent fellow who, under the pretense of recording some particular stage in the development of a language, does what he can to arrest its growth, stiffen its flexibility and mechanize its methods. For your lexicographer, having written his dictionary, comes to be considered "as one having authority," whereas his function is only to make a record, not to give a law. The natural servility of the human understanding having invested him with judicial power, surrenders its right of reason and submits itself to a chronicle as if it were a statute. Let the dictionary (for example) mark a good word as "obsolete" or "obsolescent" and few men thereafter venture to use it, whatever their need of it and however desirable its restoration to favor—whereby the process of impoverishment is accelerated and speech decays. On the contrary, the bold and discerning writer who, recognizing the truth that language must grow by innovation if it grow at all, makes new words and uses the old in an unfamiliar sense, has no following and is tartly reminded that "it isn't in the dictionary" —although down to the time of the first lexicographer (Heaven forgive him!) no author ever had used a word that was in the dictionary. In the golden prime and high noon of English speech; when from the lips of the great Elizabethans fell words that made their own meaning and carried it in their very sound; when a Shakespeare and a Bacon were possible, and the language now rapidly perishing at one end and slowly renewed at the other was in vigorous growth and hardy preservation—sweeter than honey and stronger than a lion—the lexicographer was a person unknown, the dictionary a creation which his Creator had not created him to create.

Ambrose Bierce - The Devil's Dictionary

If you have stumbled upon this site in the hope of finding something useful in the area of fine motor skills try one of these links: http://www.dyspraxia.com.au, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Developmental_dyspraxia or http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dysgraphia.

If you are looking for information about coping (or not coping) you might find something useful here: http://www.beyondblue.org.au/index.aspx


Here are some essays by Bertrand Russell these are available through Project Gutenberg but here they are formatted more neatly and some of the OCR/Scan errors have been corrected.

On the general theme of contentment and finding meaning in life:
Reasonable Expectations - get a copy (British spelling edition).

Also This blog


On a different note - get a copy of the first edition of Charles Darwin's Origin of species , reformatted for readability and reprinted with page numbers to match the original (for scholarly referencing).
 
More interesting reading by various authors.

Any further content on this site which is either useful or pertains to difficulties associated with copying, coping or copiousness is entirely coincidental.