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Saturday: July 2, 2005

Favorite Indexable Phrases

Filed under: — site admin @ 11:01 PM GMT-0500

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:

      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.

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