Discussions about eggcorns and related topics
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Chris -- 2015-05-30
Commonly misused because the word “hiatus” is fairly well-known as a respite or time off. It has nothing to do with “hiatal.”
I think hiatus and hiatal are directly related. Hiatus hernia is an alternative name for this condition – which apparently more than half the population beyond sixty years of age is subject to, asymptomatically. The hiatus, or gap, in question is the one that allows passage of the esophagus through the diaphragm. The hernia, or rupture, is the passage of your stomach through this gap. You’ve heard of one’s heart being in one’s mouth? It’s like that, only less exciting.
Reminds me of this one from the archives:
I have been diagnosed with gerd, gastritis, gastro purvitis and hyenal hernia.
http://www.justanswer.com/health/1bpiw- … vitis.html
Ew, what have you been doing to catch purvitis?
“Heinous hernia” anyone?
David Bird wrote:
“I think hiatus and hiatal are directly related. Hiatus hernia is an alternative name for this condition.”
Having just looked up both terms, David, I believe that people who use the terms interchangeably are simply repeating their own doctor’s particular term for the condition. The Mayo Clinic is more specific, and they provide a definitive diagnosis for this condition:
“Your diaphragm normally has a small opening (hiatus) through which your food tube (esophagus) passes on its way to connect to your stomach. The stomach can push up through this opening and cause a hiatal hernia.”
So hiatus is the noun describing the gap and hiatal is the adjective describing the type of hernia.