I wish Hahnemann had chosen a different name. In between the highly amusing comments of “oh, you’re a psychopath…sociopath…right, a homeopath…” and the totally confused looks of those who have no idea what I’m talking about, owning up to being a homoeopath in polite company puts me right along the road to impolite situations.
Homoeopathy is so frequently totally misunderstood by the general public it’s beyond a joke.
“Oh you’re a homoeopath – that’s those flower remedies isn’t it?”
“I use homoeopathy all the time, I buy the herbs and the teas and the supplements, but it’s all rather expensive isn’t it?”
And my personal favourite (groan):
“Of course, you only prescribe vitamins don’t you?”
Yes the name is exact. Yes it’s extremely learned in its Greek origins. All very impressive. But not helpful in dealing with the general public. In preparation for this article, I asked my entire facebook list (not huge but still) what kind of association the word homoeopathy had for them. I even invited them to be rude – I usually don’t need to ask twice. The result? Nowt. Nada. Gornicht. Or perhaps just a silent “hunh?”
Homoeopathy as a name does not touch the public fancy. Does not enliven the imagination. Those who have been helped by it will acknowledge it, but often in the name of the person or remedies that helped them.
So even though I’m certain the Founder wouldn’t have listened, purist that he was, I wonder if anyone, anyone at all remonstrated with him:
Hahnemann: I have decided. My new method is to be called Homoeopathy!
Fictional remonstrator: Oh Sam, my dear man, that name will never catch on!
Hahnemann: But that is what it is, so that is what it will be called.
I love/hate homoeopathy. Freud would have had a field day.