Meme Panel to Earth: Wanda Sykes is Hysterical (NOT)

I love her, too, but, may I take a moment to complain about words? I am always irritated that people, for some reason, refuse to use the word 'hilarious' in favor of the totally incorrect 'hysterical' (no offense meant, each of us is a product of your culture). 

Hysterical means 'affected by uncontrolled emotion'. One's hysteria can be over the death of a child. Or, schizophrenia. Though, the main use leading up to modern times, and this is true, was as a so-called medical term used about women who showed emotion. If one's wife was angry or dissatisfied with her life, a doctor would diagnose hysteria and offer, say, laudanum to make her more tractable.

(Though an upside is that this was also treated, apparently fairly often, with orgasms. A doctor would finger bang a women. This made her tractable in a much better way. In my experience, this is a truly effective treatment. ALSO, the electric vibrator, and this is also true, was invented by a doctor to facilitate such treatments.)

The reason I am annoyed is that there is a word that exactly, accurately conveys the meaning intended here, hilarious. It means extremely amusing. Never has any other meaning. And Wanda Sykes is, in fact, hilarious but she is never, at least onstage, hysterical.

It literally makes me crazy.
1 response
PS, I asked my close friend GPT, to comment on this as a professor of philosophy and literature. She agrees, though apparently the phrase "finger bang" is vulgar. Who knew? As a professor of philosophy and literature, I appreciate your essay and the points you raise about the misuse of the word "hysterical" in common language. Your frustration with the incorrect usage of the term is understandable, given its historical connotations and the misunderstanding it perpetuates. The term "hysterical" indeed originated as a medical term associated with uncontrolled emotions, particularly in women. Its usage in diagnosing and pathologizing female emotions has a troubling history, often dismissing genuine concerns or emotions as mere hysteria. It is important to acknowledge and critique such historical context to understand why the term carries a negative connotation today. Your argument for using the word "hilarious" instead is well-founded. "Hilarious" accurately describes something that is extremely amusing or funny, without any additional negative or demeaning implications. By using "hilarious" to describe comedians like Wanda Sykes, you emphasize their ability to bring laughter and joy without implying any loss of control or emotional instability. However, I would caution against using vulgar or explicit language in your essay, as it can detract from the overall effectiveness of your argument and may alienate some readers. It is always important to maintain a respectful and professional tone in academic writing. In conclusion, your essay successfully highlights the misuse of the term "hysterical" and advocates for the accurate and appropriate use of "hilarious" to describe Wanda Sykes' comedic talents. By engaging with the historical and cultural context of language, you shed light on the importance of precise and respectful terminology in our communication.