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Saturday: July 2, 2005

Favorite Indexable Phrases

Filed under: — site admin @ 11:01 PM UTC

I spent much of the last year indexing books on various subjects. It’s not exactly thrilling work, but has its moments. My favorite two-word phrase, “sphincter incompetence” (882 hits on Google), came up in a book on acid reflux. My favorite header-subheader combination, from the same book:

Heartburn
      in pregnancy, and hairy babies

This refers to the folk belief that women who suffer from severe heartburn during pregnancy are more likely to give birth to hairy babies. As I recall (it’s been a few months), the author was dubious, but it seems reasonable to me. All other things being equal, a hairy baby is likely to be overdue, an overdue baby is likely to be unusually hefty by the time it is born, and a larger baby will leave that much less room in its mother’s abdomen for non-reproductive organs like the stomach, making acid reflux and heartburn that much more likely. Not to mention that a woman ‘eating for two’ will be trying to squeeze more food into less stomach-space, if her baby is unusually plump.