Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Pet peeves, et al

There is a word that has made its way into the nursing vernacular. I refer, of course, to dilitate. Please, believe me, nothing dilitates. Your pupils, your cervix, your pores all DILATE. Look it up yourself. Go to dictionary.com and look up dilitate, and you will find this. See, I told you.

This naturally begets the second peeve: orientate. As in, I orientated her to the unit. Listen, I am not Protector of the English Language. I've even been known to use "good" when I should say "well". But I beg you, please stop, you're making making my ears bleed.

So, anyway, I'm orienting someone. And she's quitting, quitting for God's sake. I've taught her everything I know, some things I'm sketchy on and few things, quite frankly, I've just made up. No, seriously, she even knows to bring her preceptor a Gatorade. Brilliant is she. A natural. Oh and she's really good at the job, too. But her heart is in the ER and brother, I've been there, so what can I say?

I even told her about the blog. It's like she's seen under the Lone Ranger's mask(no Tonto/Kemosabe jokes, please). She wanted to know why I haven't written about any of our coworkers. Good question, 'cause that would be some entertaining shit. I guess I'm afraid that the transplant community is too small, that people would recognize who I was talking about. Or that when "Donorcycle:The Movie" comes out, everyone will be mad at the unflattering portrayals. So you won't be hearing about my boss, Mr. Keaton. Or Sister James Margeret. Or Stiffy and Scratch. Sorry, I just won't do it. And now, Tonto, you know too much. I must kill you. Death by dilitation.


Anonymous said...

The medical field is loaded with mispronunciations (as well as mispellings). "Choir-practor" is one that comes immediately to mind.

may said...

it hurt my ears that much too, when they were "orientating" someone in australia, where i used to have a license. i had to look it up just so i can tell them to stop saying it, but i was shocked to see that it was indeed a variant of "orient".
oh well.

Moreena said...

"Orientate" is standard British English, though.
Just an aside.

Actually, we were just talking amongst ourselves about European/American differences. Such as why in the world we're so resistant to the World Cup Mania. And why we don't just suck it up and go metric. The medical world is one place where it's all about the metric, and my husband was pointing out that one huge reason for this (besides just the ease of having everything based on 10) is that it makes cross-cultural communication in the medical community much easier.

So maybe you all use "orientate" so as not to discombobulate your fellow medical types across the pond?

TC said...

Oh, say it isn't so. Well, I still hate dilitate. So there. And I think most people use what they use because they've heard it used that way, and so on. Oh, well. I agree about the metric thing. For some reason the only metric I have trouble with is Celsius...I can never remember what's a fever or normal in Celsius.

Anonymous said...


You mean I've never done a dilatation and curretage?

Next you'll tell me that there is no body part pronounced...

and yes, I've heard that one.

I found your blog by way of a link. I like it!

TC said...

esofagus? Is that near the fireballs in my eucharist? A D& C is one thing. It's another when your boss says "His pupils were dilitated."

MICU RN said...

i love it-- those two words have always driven me crazy!

sheryl said...

I'm introduced to you by way of the amazing Aunt Amanda and of course, liver mom extraordinaire Moreena by way of liver families. I have to say, as a mom of a tx kiddo and nurse, I think I have found a new night shifting break room blog spot. You're fabulous.