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Monday, 3 June 2013

Medical Metaphors (and Similes)

 **Hi friends! Today I'm participating in the Medical Mondays blog hop, hosted by Emma at Your Doctor's Wife, Jane at From a Doctor's Wife, and Amber at The Unconventional Doctor's Wife. If you're now around here, welcome! Regular readers, please take the opportunity of checking out some other interesting blogs.** 

This month's post is dedicated to the art of the metaphor.  In case you've forgotten what you learned in English class, similes and metaphors are when you compare two things based on a common feature, for example, "slippery as an eel".  I could go on, but this is Medical Monday, not Vocabulary Monday.

There are a lot of metaphors we use regularly in our daily life; however, when someone is in a specialized field, they may use comparisons that those outside the field would never think up or even understand.  This isn't limited to doctors; when I was in grad school, I remember telling my Bible study group that my thesis was going well:  "I set weekly goals for myself and have been exceeding my goals...  [chuckle]  Wow, I sound like a Stalinist planned economy."  Cue blank stare from those who had not spent years studying twentieth century Eastern Europe.

Doctors and other medical professionals have such a large arsenal of specialized vocabulary and experience that gives them a whole new realm of metaphoric potential.  Here are a couple of zingers that Gil has come up with:

--"Why are you jumping around like that?  You look like you have tardive dyskinesia."  [I was fidgeting while standing in the kitchen.]

--[When the drain of the basket on the coffee maker was clogged.]  "The coffee is dripping out so slowly.  It's like urination when you have an enlarged prostrate."

Most of the time, I double over laughing at these weird comparisons and when I've composed myself, ask for an explanation.  The bonus part is that that these similes are both a source of amusement and an educational tool; I now know that tardive dyskinesia is "a disorder resulting in involuntary, repetitive body movements", which commonly occurs after long-term and/or high-dose drug use [Source:  Wikipedia].  More importantly, I know that tardive is a word I can use in Scrabble.  :-)

Medical readers, have you or your spouse ever used a weird metaphor, to the general amusement or confusion of others?  Please feel free to share!

9 comments:

  1. Oh goodness, I can't think of any examples right now, but my clinical partners and I do this allll the time. It helps with stress-relief! Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Glad you enjoyed it! Thanks for stopping by!

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  2. Thanks for linking up with Medical Monday's. You are so right! I wish I could think of some of the comparisons my husband has used at home. They are always so good - and educational:-)

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    1. There have been so many funny ones, but these were the only ones I could remember. I gotta start writing them down...

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  3. Oh, the things my H says! Then, when I point out that he has no idea what he's talking about he (jokingly) asks how I ever expect to pass the boards and shakes his head. These guys.

    Clicking over from Medical Mondays. :)

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    1. Thanks for stopping by! That's so funny. I think passing the boards is a team effort. :-)

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  4. Just stopping by from the link up! I love this and I feel like my friends and I have done it once or twice.

    Making up silly metaphors and such will be a great study tool for me :) Thanks for sharing

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    1. True, I never thought of it as a study tool, but it works better than lists. I will certainly never forget about enlarged prostrates now. :-)

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  5. My husband doesn't do that... maybe because we are so far removed from training nowadays. However, he DOES come home with some fantastic stories!!! Thanks for linking up with us for MM!!!

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