Synonyms and antonyms
At last this magazine has a new and definitive title: “Virtual Journal of Orthodontics”.
It is necessary first to clearify our interpretation of “virtual”. The origin of this word comes from latin “virtus”, a term to which both Aristotle and Machiavelli attributed the meaning of “power”, also intended as “possibility to become”.
For us, “virtual” is not so much the opposite of real, but more the opposite of current. It is also a term that is very appropriate in orthodontics since each of our small patients is actually a virtual adult, and our interactions with their growth closely resemble a farmer’s care in the growth of a tree from a mere seed.
Could “theoretic” be a synonym for “virtual”? Not exactly; but if we also include the concept of simulation we arrive closer to our idea: not far in the future we will dispose of the immaterial typodont where we can simulate the repositioning of the teeth.
Today “virtual space” is largely discussed, but its meanings are variable depending on the context in which it is placed. However one concept is always present: the only boundaries of “virtual” are those of the human imagination and intelligence. Besides, we must not attribute to virtual man’s typical merits and defects, but only recognize and understand how to best utilize this international space of encounter and comparison.
For us, “virtual” is not an abstract place of pure theory or that of perfection. It is rather a place to study perfection using genuine ideas from around the world. It is from imperfection that comes the will to improve, to research, to experiment, in one word to make “progress”.
In other words, for us the closest synonym for “virtual” is …………….. “potential”,…….. but then Aristotle and Machiavelli already said it.
Gabriele Floria DDS
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