Posted by: Jack Henry | June 6, 2018

Editor’s Corner: Pupils

A couple weeks ago, I was lying on the operating table, waiting for the anesthesiologist to inject something in my arm to help relax me as I prepared for my fourth eye surgery. As I was lying there, I thought, “Hmm. I wonder if they go in through the pupil? I wonder if the pupil is just a hole? I wonder if there’s a connection between pupils in the eye, and pupils in a school?” Okay, maybe the anesthesia was already working.

A few days later, I woke up with the same questions (and an eye patch). Now that my vision is a little better and I’m not feeling so squeamish, I thought I’d look into this.

First, from Merriam-Webster:

  • pupil (1): a child or young person in school or in the charge of a tutor or instructor

etymology: Middle English pupille, from Middle French, from Latin pupillus male ward, pupilla female ward; Latin pupillus from diminutive of pupus boy; Latin pupilla from diminutive of pupa girl, doll, puppet; probably akin to Latin puer boy — more at puerile

  • pupil (2): the contractile aperture in the iris of the eye that is round in most vertebrates

etymology: Middle French pupille pupil of the eye, from Latin pupilla, from diminutive of pupa girl, doll, puppet; from the tiny image of oneself seen reflected in another’s eye

Ah, so they are related! I wasn’t satisfied with the definition, however, and wanted to have a look at the anatomy of the eyeball. I cleverly searched for the following: “Is the pupil just a hole in your eye?” Here’s what I found on Wikipedia, along with some other cool information while surfing around:

The pupil is a hole located in the center of the iris of the eye that allows light to strike the retina.It appears black because light rays entering the pupil are either absorbed by the tissues inside the eye directly, or absorbed after diffuse reflections within the eye that mostly miss exiting the narrow pupil.

And some interesting pupil pics:





Kara Church

Technical Editor, Advisory

Symitar Documentation Services

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