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Miscellaneous Words Again

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October 25, 2009, 19:51
Miscellaneous Words Again
morphodite – a hermaphrodite (later usage: a homosexual person, esp. one showing attributes thought to be characteristic of the opposite sex; or, a transvestite)

In To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee's young protagonists create a hermaphrodite snowman/snowwoman. (ellipses omitted)
October 27, 2009, 07:40
Today's term is in use but, insofar as I know, has not yet made it into any recognized dictionary

domino surgery – transplant surgery in which the recipient, in turn, provides an organ transplant to another recipient, with the latter transplant dependant on the former

The most interesting example is in kidney transplants, as where a man need a kidney, and his sister Abby, willing to donate to him, is unfortunately medically incompatible. So too with Betty and her brother, and also Cheryl and her brother. No set of siblings knows the others, but through the registry it is discovered that each woman, though not compatible with her own brother, is compatible with one of the other men. So a "chain" is arranged: Abby's kidney goes to Betty's brother; Betty's kidney to Cheryl's brother; and Cheryl's kidney to Abby's brother. To guard against someone "backing out" after her brother is treated, all the transplants are performed in a single session of surgery, a marathon session with multiple surgery teams.
October 27, 2009, 21:18
Robert Arvanitis
So it's illegal to buy or sell organs, but it's ok to swap organs of like kind?

How about a kidney for a pancreas? Or is there a different exchange rate?

How about an organ for an expensive medical machine?


October 28, 2009, 05:38
Can you swap an organ for a harpsichord?

Give a man a fish and he can eat for one day; give a man a fishing pole and he will find an excuse to never work again.
Nollidj is power.
October 28, 2009, 08:02
Note to all US readers: Happy National Chocolate Day

Today's word is unknown in the US but seems to be quite common elsewhere. Here's a current example, from a US source which took it from a UK source.polyclinic – a clinic, hospital, or health care facility that treats various types of diseases and injuries

Question to non-US readers: – In your personal view, is there a difference between a polyclinic and a policlinic, or are they just alternate spellings of the same word?
October 28, 2009, 08:36
Richard English
I've never heard of the term but I would suggest that "poly" would be the correct spelling - as it is in words such as polymath, polyglot and polygamy.

Richard English
October 28, 2009, 08:56
or E.R., for short

Give a man a fish and he can eat for one day; give a man a fishing pole and he will find an excuse to never work again.
Nollidj is power.
October 28, 2009, 08:58
I've heard of polyclinics although there are none near me. I understand that they are slightly larger than the more normal health centres, with more facilities. For example, they might have the ability to carry out blood and some other tests on-site. Generally you would need to go to a hospital for that sort of thing.

I've never seen the word spelt policlinic, and would think it's an error rather than an alternative spelling.

Build a man a fire and he's warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he's warm for the rest of his life.
October 29, 2009, 11:15
Bear with me here. The word "illation" is hard to pin down, but if I understand correctly, it names a very interesting concept, and is mis-defined by the dictionaries.

Is it precise, syllogistic reasoning, as most "hard copy" dictionaries indicate?¹ Or is it, as many on-line dictionaries say, certain bad reasoning, masquerading as deduction:² an over-reliance on 'logic' as opposed to real-world facts? The latter more in line with the sample quotation in Webster 1913. ["Fraudulent deductions or inconsequent illations from a false conception of things. – Sir T. Browne."]

But leave the dictionaries and search for real-world usage of illation (and comb out the vast majority that are false hits, like "distillation"!). You'll find instead a much more interesting meaning, a kind of induction (not deduction). I offer this definition:

illation – the natural, unconscious process of acquiring skill and judgment from experience
¹ "the process of inferring from premises or reasons; also, the thing inferred; deduction" – Webster's (1913, "the big one"), paraphrased
² "drawing a conclusion on the basis of circumstantial evidence and prior conclusions rather than direct observation" – Wordnet, paraphrased
October 30, 2009, 07:50
congé; conge – an abrupt and unceremonious dismissal
(older use: a formal bow or leave-taking or permission to depart)

A century ago, today's word was common enough to be used in the newspapers' sport-pages. Since then it seems to have dropped out of the language, apart from historical novels of lords and ladies. I couldn't find any popular-press usage, as a current word, since the 1930s.
October 31, 2009, 06:12
labret – an ornament worn in a perforation of the lip
[Latin labrum lip]
October 31, 2009, 19:50
sartorial – of or relating to a tailors, tailoring, or tailored clothing (or, more generally, to manner of dress)
[Late Latin sartor tailor, from the root meaning "to patch, mend"]Another word from this root names the longest muscle in the body, running along the thigh from outer hip to inner knee. It's used when you sit cross-legged like a tailor at work, and it's called the sartorius.
November 06, 2009, 16:52
Robert Arvanitis
Originally posted by Proofreader:
Can you swap an organ for a harpsichord?

Perhaps not, but stifled markets are killing people. See: http://www.investors.com/NewsA...ticle.aspx?id=511440

November 06, 2009, 20:52
Today we present two from the biblical Middle East.

Sodom – a place notorious for its vice and corruption
[The Old Testament tells that the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed because of their wickedness and depravity. Genesis 19. Sodom [the city] is also the basis for the word sodomy.]

Gehenna – a place or state of torment or suffering; a hell
[Jeremiah 19:6: So beware, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when people will no longer call this place … the Valley of Ben Hinnom, but the Valley of Slaughter.]