The Way We Live Now
By William Safire
Reprinted from the New York Times web site.www.nytimes.com
The following is an excerpt that pertains to nutraceuticals:
A spelling controversy is about to explode
about the word that means "a food or part of a food that
has a medical or health benefit, including the prevention and
treatment of disease."Plain bread supplemented with calcium,
vitamin D, folate, dietary fiber and a shot of St. Johnswort or
whatever becomes a nutraceutical, unless you prefer to spell it
nutriceutical, with an i, as in nutrition.
I checked it out with the coiner, Dr.
Stephen L. DeFelice, now the head of the Foundation for Innovation
in Medicine. His spokesman explained that the 1989 coinage is
spelled nutra, with an a, on the analogy of pharmaceutical, with
its Greek root pharmak.
Reached directly, however, DeFelice said,
"To tell you the truth, I was drinking grappa in Rome one
day and nutra sounded better than nutri."
That asserts "coiner's privilege,"
and the enhanced, enriched, jazzed-up food - as both noun and
adjective - is spelled nutraceutical.