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Sunday: December 18, 2005

More Disillusionment

Filed under: — site admin @ 3:37 PM GMT-0500

Natalie Solent quote a reader who tells us more than most will ever want to know about the medical meaning of the word ‘fistula’. I found out what it meant twenty years ago when I temped for a day or two as a medical transcriptionist. I convinced them that my ability to recognize and spell just about any word derived from Latin and Greek would compensate for substandard typing speed. It did, though I had to consult my colleagues about a couple of terms that turned out to be French, including ‘bruits’ (pronounced ‘brooeys’, not ‘broots’) which is some sort of sound made by the (healthy? unhealthy?) heart. Solent’s post reminded me that knowing the medical meaning of ‘fistula’ has detracted from my pleasure in reading the less scurrilous genres of Latin verse, where fistula is frequent and means a shepherd’s pipe or pan-pipe.

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