-ology, -logy, -ologist, -logist

(Greek: a suffix meaning: to talk, to speak; a branch of knowledge; any science or academic field that ends in -ology which is a variant of -logy; a person who speaks in a certain manner; someone who deals with certain topics or subjects)

The word -ology is a back-formation from the names of certain disciplines. The -logy element basically means "the study of ____". 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 suffix -ology is considered to be misleading sometimes as when the "o" is actually part of the word stem that receives the -logy ending; such as, bio + logy.

Through the years -ology and -logy have come to mean, "study of" or "science of" and either of these suffixes often utilize the form of -ologist, "one who (whatever the preceding element refers to)".

The examples shown in this unit represent just a small fraction of the many words that exist in various dictionaries.

geobiology (s) (noun) (no pl)
The study of the biosphere and the physical Earth: Geobiology is a relatively new field and its subject areas flow into portions of ecology, microbiology, palaeontology, soil science, and evolutionary biology.

Geobiology is an interdisciplinary field of scientific research that explores interactions between the biosphere and the lithosphere and/or the atmosphere.

Geobiology is also concerned with the study of terrestrial life.

geochronologist (s) (noun), geochronologists (pl)
Someone who studies the chronology, or time periods, of the Earth, as based on both absolute and relative methods of age determination: Jeff's mother was a geochronologist who studied and ascertained the ages of rocks, fossils, and sediments by scrutinizing the clues that were inherent in the samples themselves.
geochronology (s) (noun), geochronologies (pl)
The chronology of the Earth, or the measurement of geological time and the ordering of past geological events: Geochronology is the time sequence of the Earth’s history as governed by geological events.

Geochronology involves the research of dating and the study of time in relation to the Earth's history as revealed by geological data.

geocosmology (s) (noun) (no pl)
The study of the geological origin and history of the Earth: At the university, Dr. Timmons was invited to a conference on geocosmology, a branch of historical geology of the world.
geohydrology (s) (noun) (no pl)
The scientific study of subsurface water; hydrogeology: Geohydrology especially pertains to the study of the geologic settings of underground water.

Geohydrology is the branch of geology that studies the movement of subsurface water through rocks and the effect of moving water on rocks, including their erosion.

The term geohydrology is often used interchangeably with "hydrogeology". Some make the minor distinction between hydrologists or engineers who are applying themselves to geology (geohydrology), and geologists applying themselves to "hydrology" (hydrogeology).

geologist (s) (noun), geologists (pl)
A scientist who specializes in the study of the origin, composition, history, structure, and processes of the Earth: Arthur's father was a geologist who was a professor in the geology department at the university.

One geologist claimed that geologists go to rock'n'roll concerts for entertainment, and when they relax, they rock in a rocking chair, but their favorite kind of transportation is a rocket.

geology (s) (noun), geologies (pl)
The study of the Earth in terms of its development as a planet since its origin: Geology includes the history of its life forms, the materials of which it is made, the processes that affect these materials, and the products that are formed from them.

Geology is the science which includes the structure and mineral constitution of the globe, also termed structural geology.

Geology is the study or science of the Earth, its history, and its life as recorded in the rocks. It also includes the study of geologic features of an area, such as the geometry of rock formations, weathering and erosion, and sedimentation.

geomorphologist (s) (noun), geomorphologists (pl)
Someone who studies the surface configurations of the Earth and the history of geologic activities as represented by such surface features: Dr. Crawford was Tim's father who was a geomorphologist and did research on the origins of the geological aspects of the Earth.
geomorphology (s) (noun), geomorphologies (pl)
1. The study of the classification, description, nature, origin, and development of present landforms and their relationships to underlying structures, and of the history of geologic changes as recorded by these surface features: Geomorphology is that branch of geology that deals withs the characteristics, processes that shape them, and configurations and evolutions of rocks and landforms.

Geomorphologists seek to understand landform history and dynamics, and predict future changes through a combination of field observations, physical experiments, and numerical modeling.

The discipline is practiced within geology, geography, archaeology, and civil and environmental engineering. Early studies in geomorphology are the foundations for pedology, one of two main branches of soil science.

Geomorphology is the science of landforms. It is the science that provides us with a closer look at the Earth's surface and the processes that have formed them.

Although geomorphology is concerned with landforms that currently exist, past landforms and events must be examined in order to fully understand how they came about.

Although the term geomorphology is a relatively new term (1880s), the examination of the forces of nature that have impacted the Earth's surface extends back into the days of early Greek and Roman philosophers, such as Aristotle and Seneca.

Their writings included ideas on stream erosion, earthquakes, and other deformations. Though these early philosophers speculated on the ideas of landscape evolution, these processes and thoughts were not fully examined until just before the 1800s.

geopathology (s) (noun) (no pl)
The science or theory concerned with the harmful effects on the body by environment, topography, climate, food and water supplies, and ecological factors: Geopathology is the study of the peculiarities of diseases caused by the Earth's radiation on humans, plants, and animals.
geotechnology (s) (noun), geotechnologies (pl)
The application of scientific methods and engineering techniques to the exploitation and utilization of natural resources: The scientists involved in geotechnology explored ways and means of using mineral resources, like soil, oil, and gas, for improving the living conditions in poor countries.
geratology (s) (noun), geratologies (pl)
In biology, the study of the decline and senescence or old age of populations.
The study of dentistry in relation to the aging, aged, or elderly.
One who specializes in gerontology.
gerontology (s) (noun), gerontologies (pl)
1. The study of all aspects of aging and the phenomena of old age: Edda decided to read up on gerontology because her grandmother was already 85 years old and needing extra help in the house.
2. Research in the study of aging as a biological, sociological, and psychological process; geriatric medicine: The branch of gerontology in medicine interested Ralph and he decided to do more investigating in this area since his grandparents were already up in their 90s.
3. The scientific study of the process and problems of aging and of age-related diseases of humans: Nancy thought that she could specialize in gerontology knowing that the population where she lived was getting older and older and requiring special medical attention.
The scientific study of old age.
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Aging, a potential crisis in China

  • The proportion of elderly people is growing faster in China than in any major country, with the number of retirees set to double between 2005 and 2015, when it will reach 200 million.
  • By mid-century, 430 million people (about a third of the population) will be retirees.
  • That increase will place enormous demands on the country's finances and could threaten the underpinnings of the Chinese economy, which has thrived for decades on the cheap labor of hundreds of millions of young, uneducated workers from the countryside.
  • Changes in China's population structure are taking place hand in hand with changes in the structure of the family.
  • The country's so-called one-child policy, which began in 1980, means that beginning with the current gene5ration of young adults, couples will face the stark task of caring for four parents through old age.
  • In addition, the ratio of workers to retired people will decline from about six to one now to about two to one by 2040.
  • Of course, raising the retirement age from the current 50 to 55 for women and 55 to 60 for men to bring them more in line with international norms would ease a substantial amount of pressure on the pension system.
  • Raising the retirement ages presents another set of problems for the government, Chinese social security experts say.
  • Last year, for example, 4.13 million young Chinese graduated from universities, and fully 30 percent of them are still unemployed.
  • Unemployment is high among non-university graduates, as well. Prolonging employment for older workers would make this predicament worse, possibly with volatile consequences.
  • Meanwhile, breaking a lifelong promise and abruptly extending the retirement age would create another large class of malcontents.
  • The bind that China finds itself in takes form in an often-posed question: Can the country grow rich before it grows old? Increasingly, experts in China say the answer, which also has huge implication for the global economy, appears doubtful.
  • For all of the experts' talk of a looming crisis, many Chinese seem only dimly aware of the country's predicament and many middle-aged people say they have only belatedly begun to prepare themselves for retirement.
—Excerpts from "China is aging toward potential pension crisis" by Howard W. French,
International Herald Tribune, March 21, 2007; page 2.
Cross references of word families related directly, or indirectly, to: "talk, speak, speech; words, language; tongue, etc.": cit-; clam-; dic-; fa-; -farious; glosso-; glotto-; lalo-; linguo-; locu-; logo-; loqu-; mythico-; ora-; -phasia; -phemia; phon-; phras-; Quotes: Language,Part 1; Quotes: Language, Part 2; Quotes: Language, Part 3; serm-; tongue; voc-.