Maybe this could be sort of a Friday humor entry, but the "medical" part of it maybe justifies its own thread.
Below are some amusing "malaprops" in medical settings that I came across while web-wandering the other night.
Malaprop (n.): the mistaken use of a word in place of a similar-sounding one, often with unintentionally amusing effect, as in, for example, “dance a flamingo ” (instead of flamenco ).
Historically, "... malapropism did not enter common parlance as a grammatical term until the publication of Richard Brinsley Sheridan’s 1775 play The Rivals.The Rivals featured a comedic character named Mrs. Malaprop, who frequently confused words that sound alike but have wildly different meanings. Some of her mistakes included substituting the word "contagious" for "contiguous" “contagious countries” and "geometry" for "geography." These slip-ups earned her big laughs from audiences and resulted in the creation of the term malapropism."
Malaprops occur everywhere in speech, and their appearance in medical contexts is not uncommon.
Here's a short list of some of them, gathered from patients' own words. Occurring when they were asked to describe on pre-treatment forms they had to fill out what they thought was bothering them. Except that they clearly weren't always sure about
the proper names of the illnesses and conditions they were writing about
. So they did the best they could, and the results are sometimes, well, amusing.
And the sites I got them from all guarantee that these descript
ive efforts did indeed come from real patients:
Room attic fever
Harbor tunnel syndrome
Sea roses of the liver
Sick as hell anemia
Final mighty Jesus (Spinal meningitis)
And then there was one that came up that was particularly amusing because of the sheer irony of it:
OId Timers' Disease (Alzheimer's Disease)
And of course let us not forget the most amusing medical malaprop of all as far as we here are concerned:
So let's have a smile, a good-natured one though, at some of the doubtless well-meaning but off-the-mark malapropic efforts of some patients to describe their conditions, and their doctors’ likely very bemused reactions upon hearing and reading them.