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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)
    . . ."Are we gonna have a snow baby, Jem?"
    . . ."No, a real snowman. Gotta work hard, now." He molded a big stomach below the figure's waistline. Jem glanced at me, his eyes twinkling: "Mr. Avery's sort of shaped like a snowman, ain't he?"
    . . ."It's lovely, Jem," I said. "Looks almost like he'd talk to you."
    . . ."It is, ain't it?" he said shyly.
    . . .We could not wait for Atticus to come home for dinner, but called and said we had a big surprise for him. He seemed surprised, but he said we had done a jim-dandy job. … Atticus squinted at the snowman a while. He grinned, then laughed. "Son, [y]ou've perpetrated a near libel here in the front yard. We've got to disguise this fellow. … You can't go around making caricatures of the neighbors."
    . . ."Ain't a characterture," said Jem. "It looks just like him."
    . . ."Mr. Avery might not think so."
    . . ."I know what!" said Jem. He raced across the street, disappeared into Miss Maudie's back yard and returned triumphant. He stuck her sunhat on the snowman's head. Atticus said that would be fine.
    . . .Miss Maudie opened her front door and came out on the porch. Suddenly she grinned. "Jem Finch," she called. "You devil, bring me back my hat, sir!"
    . . .Atticus strolled over to Miss Maudie's sidewalk, where they engaged in an arm-waving conversation, the only phrase of which I caught was ". . . erected an absolute morphodite in that yard! Atticus, you'll never raise 'em!"
 
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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.
    The domino surgery was essentially a four-way donor kidney swap among eight individuals. It involved eight operations that began at 8 a.m. and ended more than 15 hours later on Nov. 19. Three operating rooms were devoted to the marathon surgeries, which involved 24 staff, including surgeons, anesthesiologists and nurses. Among the eight patients were three donor-recipient pairs who knew each other – either a relative or friend – but were not compatible matches. They were, however, compatible with others in the mix. So the dominos fell …
    – Toronto Star, Feb. 13, 2009
 
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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?

Or...


RJA
 
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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.
 
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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.
    The Heart of Hounslow has been a big hit with local residents in its first six months as a polyclinic. Over 11,000 people have used the walk-in service … . Polyclinics deliver a one-stop-shop approach to healthcare by making it possible to access a wide range of services in one centre.
    – Gov Monitor, Oct. 28, 2009
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?
 
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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
 
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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.
 
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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.
 
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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
    The classical proofs for the existence of God operate on the level of abstract reasoning. [Theologian John Henry] Newman … insists that there is another kind of knowing and reasoning that works in the concrete, reasoning from concrete particular to concrete particular, and forming conclusions it does not know exactly how it reached. By this illative sense, the gifted artist knows exactly where and with what pressure to apply brush or chisel, the gourmet cook knows how to blend ingredients, … and each of us knows in various life situations whom we can trust and whom we had better not. None of these bits of knowledge is a matter of logical reasoning. In each case, as a matter of fact, it is very hard to set forth how one knows what one knows.

    There are strong affinities between what Newman calls the illative sense and what others have called intuition. Intuition can err, of course, but it can also be uncanny in its correctness, and by its aid we know crucial truths we cannot know in any other way.
    – Kathleen R. Fischer and Thomas N. Hart, Christian Foundations: An Introduction to Faith in Our Time

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
 
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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.
    No one can believe that you have actually allowed your mistress to hand you your congé. Really quite extraordinary …
    – Amanda Quick, Mistress

    [headline] Red Sox Bats Give Johnson His Conge
    – reporting a baseball game (Johnson being the pitcher opposing the Red Sox team), New York Times, Apr. 16, 1920

    … he [Savonarola] started to call a council of the church, with the chief idea being to give the pope conge — but that was his undoing … . He was excommunicated, tried and put to death, and that was the end of that great booming voice.
    – Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Oct. 25, 1930
 
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labret – an ornament worn in a perforation of the lip
[Latin labrum lip]
    He wore a casual, loose-fitting blue-black suit; a small, pointed labret piercing wagged from his chin; and his nails were painted jet black. He wasn't necessarily attractive, but he was charismatic.
    – Neil Strauss, The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists
 
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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"]
    Kelsey whimpered and looked back at the computer screen. It was two o'clock in the morning and she was alone with the vast shopping jungle that was the Internet. Bad taste and unflattering silhouettes lurked on every site, and one wrong click could bring box-loads of sartorial evil to her front porch, delivered by UPS.
    – Lisa Cach, A Rose by Any Other Name
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.
 
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quote:
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


RJA
 
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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.]
    Instead they viewed Kabul as a den of iniquity, a Sodom and Gomorrah where women had to be beaten into conforming ..."
    – Ahmed Rashid, Taliban: Militant Islam, Oil and Fundamentalism in Central Asia

    Go, kill, and if you succeed, this paradise you leave will again be yours, and forever; but if you fail, you will plunge back into the Gehenna of the everyday.
    – Umberto Eco, Foucault's Pendulum
 
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