Home / SCIENCE / Man Develops Star Shaped Cataracts After Being Electrocuted

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  • athomsfere

    So he wasn’t electrocuted if he later complained of vision problems… Electrocution means death.

    • CharlesKGim

      That’s a strange statement lol. Its not like its a new word. If you stick your tongue on a battery you will be electrocuted. Not sure when people ever referred to it to mean killed.

      • Chazz Matthews

        NO, you will be electric shock — but not be electrocuted. You won’t die.

    • Scott Dean

      Oxford dictionary: “injure or kill (someone) by electric shock”

    • Patrick Byrne

      I hate people who make it their quest to invent new and exclusive definitions for words that have been defined a certain way for nearly ever. Get a life dim bulb!

      • athomsfere

        Your ignorance of the history and coinage of a term has nothing to do with my intelligence. The term “electrocute” is a combination of “electro” and “execute”, meaning specifically execution by electricity and now includes accidental death from electricity. I have no interest in inventing definitions to words, but I do care to maintain the precision of the language with words like electrocution.

        • David Cross

          The dictionary is a reflection of the spoken language… not the other way around. Frustrating, but true.

          • athomsfere

            True. But words often are misused or incorrectly defined. Drowned is not submerged or near drowned, electrocuted is not a shock, and there is a difference between affect and effect.

            Language is organic and constantly changing, but hopefully some people’s ignorance doesn’t remove the precision that words like shock versus electrocute gives the language.

          • odubya23

            This just in! Professionals that should have a working knowledge of English all too often don’t! Film at eleven!

          • Kurtis Engle

            The dictionary is a tool intended to counteract the tendency for words to change meaning when dumb people get ahold of them. Latin is another, stronger tool, that is used to the same purpose. Latin takes language away from dumb people, while the Dictionary permits the rest of us to authoritatively correct a newspaper.

        • Ceci Pipe

          Speaking of ignorance… You know that the original Latin didn’t mean kill, right?

          Words change, your inability to do so reflects nothing but your own failings.

          • athomsfere

            Welcome to the conversation, a year late! Luckily, ignorance apparently knows nothing of time frames. I’m so happy that in this day and age we have ignorant people (such as yourself) who invent facts to call others ignorant.

            Electrocute was coined in the late 1800’s (well after the demise of Latin) to join the words electro and execute.

            As a bit of a linguist, I have no qualms with evolving languages either. Electrocute grew to include accidental death, but it retained a level of precision that kept the word useful. If one is electrocuted by dropping a blender in a bath tub, it remains obvious that there is no executioner. The result however, from a competent English speaker is death.

            Language needs to be able to accurately describe the universe, and misusing electrocute renders an accurate word useless. Less use a double example with loose modern American interpretations:

            “I literally electrocuted myself to death”
            and compare it to what is actually meant, with proper word choice and less ambiguity:
            “I (figuratively) shocked myself to death” That level of concision from good word choice makes a huge difference in the effectiveness of the language. Languages change, sure. I’m all for it, at that. I’d hate for us to become more like French with an officiate of language does everything in its power to keep French, French. I am also committed however using language to convey specific ideas where possible so that two people can communicate effectively without having to redefine words with specific meanings because one person (or group of people) has to clarify a word with the word that actually belonged in the sentence.

    • Ryan Coplan

      Agreed. If a person is ‘shocked’ they jump. If a person is shocked to the point of electrocution they die. (rhymes with execution)

    • Chazz Matthews

      Exactly. Anything less than death is just electric shock, burn or injury — but not “electrocution”. The word “electrocution” MEANS “electric execution”

    • Damien

      What if he was electrocuted and died…and then later in the hospital they used a defibrillator to revive him…and then a couple weeks later, having a bad heart due to the original electric shock and the defibrillator, he was struck by lightning which killed him. but the lightning would not have killed him absent the previous electric shocks? what would you call that?

      • athomsfere

        Me personally. He was electrocuted, then revived. Being resuscitated does not mean one was never dead. That one event is also not the eternal state of that person from then on, in my opinion.

        If he dies from a weak heart, then he dies of a weak heart. Perhaps “Died due to a weak heart, a complication of a previous severe shock”.

        And if the weak heart wasn’t enough to kill him, but he is then struck by lightening… Well I am not sure what cosmic lottery he is playing but to be electrocuted twice is some accomplishment.

        Also, I am thinking of this purely as medical / semantic death. Legal death, obviously he was electrocuted only once, as you can’t collect death certificates.

  • Jeremy Loyola

    Athomsfere – Electrocuted means being injured or killed by electrical current. Electrocution is execution by electrical current.

    • Chazz Matthews

      Electrocution is death caused by electric shock, either accidental or deliberate. The word is derived from “electro” and “execution”, but it is also used for accidental death.

      It does NOT mean being injured by electrical current. It only means being killed by it.

    • BatRastardson

      There are conflicting definitions presented when performing a simple web search on the term. But Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary, which many consider to be authoritative, declares it exclusively to mean death.

      • neilpilot

        Formally, the words electrocute and electrocution always imply fatality. Informally, however, these terms are rather often used to refer to serious but nonfatal electric shocks. Strictly correct usage is to reserve electrocute and electrocution for fatal electric shocks, and to use shock or electric shock for nonfatal ones.

        • Damien

          Makes sense… its like “hanged”, you only use hanged to refer to someone being killed by hanging… you wouldnt say I hanged the pictured on the wall…its hung. Hanged is a similar word reserved to describe a particular way in which someone is killed (and not surprisingly its also related to a capital punishment).

        • BatRastardson

          Don’t tell me. Tell Webster’s.


    Any 6th grader could tell you that Webster’s definition of electrocution is “death by electric shock”.

    The amount of nimrods turned out these days by our school systems never ceases to amaze me.

    • Seejay

      Even before I clicked the link, I was thinking that. “Electrocute” is a modern smattering of the words “electrify” and “execute.”

      “Electrified” is the correct word here… :-

  • http://www.sanjayjohn.com/ Sanjay John

    why did they do the surgery on him? half ass knowledge of doctors..and the poor fellow is no better, but down $50K because of some unnecessary surgery. Probably his surgery made the recovery worse.

    avoid medics when they do high sounding cutting edge surgeries. they are experimenting on you; and keeping the money.

  • Arishia

    I’ll vote for the expanded definition of electrocution. otherwise we have to say it in too many words, for example. “…became a high voltage conductor.” That’s not handy. I think electrocution was limited to ‘death by electricity’ when it was being used for state executions, which it isn’t anymore.
    I like the expanded version, so, Merriam-Webster, take note. :-)

    • athomsfere

      So, to you death by electrocution is shorter than electrocution? How about, “Was shocked”, or he received a high voltage shock? Not so much longer. It also, more importantly retains the concision. It differentiates between being shocked dead versus being shocked.

      • Damien

        I think its fair to say electrocution is a word only for execution by electric shock rather than any death by electric shock. Sorta like HANGED is death by hanging (capital punishment) but someone who kills themselves hung themselves…. it makes sense to have a specific word for the way in which capital punishment was done….

      • Arishia

        Ah, much better. I like your solution.

  • RobGA

    “In some studies on animals”…so some poor, helpless animals were tortured and blinded in the name of science. The lack of compassion revealed by those words make me ashamed to be human.

  • Steve Harris

    I’ve been an industrial electrician for 20 years and electrocution requires death in my fields usage of the term.

  • Kurtis Engle

    Dear Editor.

    Borrow a dictionary.

    Full Definition of ELECTROCUTE
    1: to execute (a criminal) by electricity
    2: to kill by electric shock
    — elec·tro·cu·tion noun
    Origin of ELECTROCUTE
    electr- + -cute (as in execute)
    First Known Use: 1889

  • JS353535

    WOW, how about everyone STFU about the semantics of the word electrocution and move on with your lives! The article is about star shaped cataracts, not the definition of a word.

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