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  • Paul Anthony Jones


(n.) the act of repairing or correcting something previously wrong; putting things in right order

The act of correcting or putting things right can be known as diorthosis.

At the root of this word is orthos, a Greek word meaning ‘upright’, ‘straight’ or, by extension, ‘correct’. That’s the same root as words like orthodox (regular thinking) and orthography (correct spelling or handwriting), as well as a handful of less familiar terms like orthogonal (positioned at right angles) and orthognathous (straight-jawed). It’s also the origin of orthodontics, the procedures that correct crooked teeth—and in fact that word diorthosis was originally a medical one when it first appeared in English in the early 1700s, referring to the surgical setting or resetting of a broken or crooked part of the body.

Over time, however, that meaning expanded and loosened, so that by the nineteenth century diorthosis had come to refer to any putting right of something that had previously gone wrong or awry.


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