I would like to note however, that as I have browsed around, I have noticed many other bloggers doing similar occasional snarky complaints about omics words here and there. That was good to see. But most amazing was that there is in fact published literature on the topic of bad omics words. See for example The Wholeness in Suffix -omics, -omes, and the Word Om and apparently[The odd omes and omics] (which is in Finnish) and many others.
My favorite published rant even has rant in the title "A rant against jargon and neologisms". It is definitely worth a read and is free in Pubmed Central. In it, Simon Young says many things I agree with. In particular the ending
This does not mean that these terms are not useful. However, as with all new terms, they will help to promote knowledge and ideas only if their precise meaning becomes known to a broad range of researchers. Only time will tell what will become a useful scientific term and what will remain the jargon of a subgroup of researchers.
The best discussion I have seen of the issue is by none other than the great Joshua Lederberg (may he rest in peace) who wrote 'Ome Sweet 'Omics — A Genealogical Treasury of Words with Alexa McCray. In it they discuss the history of the word genomics, among others. They also quote Roland Brown author of "Composition of Scientific Words"
"words, when they make their debut in scientific or literary society ... should be simple, euphonious, pure and mnemonically attractive."
Clearly many of the new omics words do not meet this criteria but I am going to leave that for others to (help) judge. If you personally want to see some lists of the every growing number of omics words, check out any/all of the following:
- Omes Table, Gerstein Lab
- The best place is "Alphabetically ordered list of omes and omic words" at omics.org