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List of ologies

Informally, an ology is a field of study or academic discipline ending in the suffix -ology. The word ology is therefore a back-formation from the names of these disciplines. Such words are formed from Greek or Latin roots with the terminal -logy derived from the Greek suffix -λογια (-logia), speaking, from λεγειν (legein), to speak. The word ology is thus misleading as the 'o' is actually part of the word stem that receives the -logy ending. For example, the bio part of biology stems from Greek βιος (bios), life. This is why some of the words do not end in -ology (such as mineralogy).

Not all words ending in -ology are ologies in the above sense. In some words such as tautology and haplology, the -logy suffix is from the Greek λογοσ, word, and denotes not a field of study but a type of speech or writing. For example, haplology means the mistake of saying one letter, syllable or word when two or more are required, as in the example of pronouncing the word "February" somewhat like "Febuary". Even 'technology' isn't a discipline as such, more a description of an improvement.

It should also be pointed out that some words mean to study something, but aren't called ologies -- midwifery is one example.

A famous British television commercial of the 1980s has a Jewish student phoning his grandmother to confirm his exam results. He is disappointed that he has only passed Sociology, but his grandmother will have none of it. "Anthony," she insists, "if you get an ology, you're a scientist!"

Here is a list of some ologies:

please add more examples of real fields of study ending with -ology to this list

Words ending in -ology that are not fields of study, and thus not "ologies" in the sense of this article, are:

  • Apology[?]
    • a statement of regret.
    • an explanation for or justification of beliefs.
  • Chronology is the arrangement or setting out of past events in order of occurrence; the recording of historical events in date sequence.
  • Doxology, a spoken or sung end of a prayer.
  • Eulogy, though not an -ology, is a commemoration of a person's life at his/her funeral.
  • Hagiology[?] is literature dealing with the life of a saint or, indeed, any revered person, a biography of an individual, rather than a study of saints, sainthood or saintliness in general.
  • Kibology, joke religion worshiping Kibo
  • Philology, the historical study of languages. This is not a ology in the strict sense, because it is not the study (-ologia) of love (philo-), but the love (philo-) of literature (logia).
  • Phraseology[?] is the way words are put together, therefore the style[?] being used in a sentence, or the set of phrases or the choice of words used by any particular group of people, a type of register, then, that reflects the form of language used in a certain social situation in which particular subjects are being discussed. Examples of register (phraseology) are: (obscene) slang, legal language (legalese), journalese[?], the jargon of the racecourse, or the special words or phrases used in certain occupations, as only a few of a very numerous category.
  • Reflexology[?], alternative method of massage, therapy or pressure on certain points of the sole of the feet as a means of relieving nervous tension
  • Scientology, the belief system/cult religion founded by L. Ron Hubbard, self-described as a study of knowledge.
  • Soteriology[?] is the doctrine of a coming end of time or of the world.
  • Tautology, a self-affirming truth.
  • Terminology, a set of words and/or phrases, usually in relation to some particular canon or field of study e.g. 'mathematical terminology'.
  • Tetralogy of Fallot, an abnormality of the heart consisting of four deformities that often occur together
  • Trilogy (although not strictly an -ology) is a body of writing[?] in three parts, as tetralogy[?] is that in four parts.

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