Word Watch: Impress your friends with science jargon!
[noun] When scientists spelled out the human genome, it predictably began to mutate the English language. Today there seems to be no end to the proliferation of words ending in “ome.” Everyone is familiar with the genome. Then came proteome and transcriptome, and lately enough other omes to keep a yoga class chanting for hours. Darryl Macer of
the Eubios Ethics Institute and Japan’s Tsukuba University has taken the “ome” word phenomenon into another realm: social science. He is calling for a “behaviourome” (“behaviorome” to Yanks), a grand attempt to map the totality of ideas human beings can have. His Mental Mapping Project will compare ideas between individuals and cultures, so that from the patterns in cultural diversity a classification system for human ideas will be made. In the end, we could understand the mind in the way that we are beginning to understand the body.