Archive for July, 2006

Meditalk Spins Away the Blubber

Wednesday, July 5th, 2006

Doctors today are not only trained in the worthy tradition of “do no harm,” but also in the questionable contemporary school of “offend no one.”

Thus, we have the new proposed Centers for Disease Control spinspeak guideline of not calling overweight children “obese.” Presumably,” fat kid,” “porky” and “chubby” are also off the approved list. Instead, children waddling around in a state approaching but not yet reaching total rotundity are to be called “at risk of overweight.” Once total rotundity is achieved the full mound of blubber is to be described simply as “overweight.”

Dr. Reginald Washington of Denver, a pediatrician and “co-chair”* of an American Academy of Pediatrics task force on obesity agrees. He notes that calling children “obese” risks “making them angry, making the family angry.”

There is also the possibility of loss of self esteem – the dreaded state of mind that many sensitive educators already avoid by eliminating the uncomfortable idea of competition with “winners” and “losers.”

Some other recent medical spinspeak:

non-compliant = meditalk softspeak for describing a patient who refuses to follow prescribed medical direction.

non-adherence = earlier meditalk for what is now called non-compliant.

drug seeking behavior = meditalk for coke sniffing and other drug addictive folkways.

* co-chair and chair is spinspeak adopted on the politically correct assumption that it is better to call people pieces of furniture than make gender distinctions.

Never Call Retreat (Cont.)

Monday, July 3rd, 2006

The military has always hated the word “retreat” as much as the liberal left hates the military, but now liberal left pols, in their zeal to show they would “never never never” favor a “cut and run” strategy in Iraq, may want to borrow some of the military’s favorite spinspeak for the “R” word.

Some martial favorites over the years: retrograde maneuver, strategic movement to the rear, adjustments of the front.

Of course, the GI or grunt, the “troops” whom the leftie pols want everyone to know they “support” while undercutting the war the “troops” are fighting, are known to resort to realism rather than spin. It’s the generals dating back to the Greeks who favor phrases such as “strategic movement to the rear.” But when Red Chinese Army divisions staffed with “volunteers” streamed across the Yalu River during the Korean “Police Action,” the “troops” referred to their necessary tactical response as “the big bug out.”