Why some words like “active” goes directly to “hyperactive” instead of going to “superactive” when we use to describe someone’s behaviour?

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Why some words like “active” goes directly to “hyperactive” instead of going to “superactive” when we use to describe someone’s behaviour?

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It’s medical terminology. Hyper- is too much of something, Hypo- is not enough. There isn’t really an opposite word for ‘super’ in its ‘excess’ definition. ‘Sub’ maybe but that tends to be used to mean dependant or a level beneath rather than too little of something.

Hyper is Greek and super is Latin. They both mean the same thing and come from the same origin.

Some types of jargon prefer Greek and others Latin, some mix and match and other use both.

In some context hyper is used to mean more than super, but that isn’t really something to do with the words themselves. It is just that having already used one they need a non-silly sounding word for even more and use the other.

There is nothing inherent in the words to put them into a specific order, it is just that super is a bit more common in some contexts and hyper gets used to mean more than super even though they actually mean the same thing.

The English Over and the German Über are also examples of the same word with same meaning and the same root.

They don’t really exist in any sort of order except coolness and what has already been used.

The prefix super- means “above” or “beyond”. A superscript is text that is higher on a line than normal text. A superset encompasses a set and items beyond the set.

The prefix hyper- means “too much” or “extreme”. Hypertension is too much blood pressure, hyperactive is an elevated amount of activity.

That said, there is overlap between the two meanings, and it often comes down to matching the Latin (super) or Greek (hyper) to its root.