[Ads-l] Linguistic problem in the medical field (;'-))

Margaret Winters mewinters at WAYNE.EDU
Wed May 9 10:33:33 EDT 2018


Agreed - the doctor is testing the medication (or lack thereof) rather than trying to please.


----------------------------
MARGARET E WINTERS
Former Provost
Professor Emerita - French and Linguistics
Wayne State University
Detroit, MI  48202

mewinters at wayne.edu



________________________________
From: American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU> on behalf of Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at YALE.EDU>
Sent: Wednesday, May 9, 2018 10:30 AM
To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU
Subject: Re: Linguistic problem in the medical field (;'-))

Hmmm.  I always took it as the medication (whether actual medicine or sugar pill), not the doctor, promising the patient “I will please”.

LH


> On May 9, 2018, at 12:10 AM, Mark Mandel <Mark.A.Mandel at GMAIL.COM> wrote:
>
> I disagree with the end of Kelley's quoted comment. If you're looking for
> what "placebo" means, you can take the Latin literally: "I [the doctor]
> will please [the patient]". Though chosen to indicate ineffectuality, the
> word simply means that the doctor is giving the patient what the latter
> wants, and who knows, it might work.
>
> Mark Mandel
>
> On Tue, May 8, 2018 at 10:32 PM, imwitty <imwitty at gmail.com> wrote:
>
>> ...
>
>
>
>
>> But even before the conference date had been set, something was bothering
>> some prospective attendees, an annoyance that had gnawed at a few of them
>> for years. It was the word *placebo* itself. And though it seems like a
>> small issue – a word choice, a semantic nuisance – it struck scholars like
>> clinical psychologist John Kelley of Harvard that the name was having an
>> outsize effect on doctors’ ability to harness the power of placebos for
>> good.
>>
>> For starters, the name defies logic.
>>
>> *“‘The placebo effect’ in and of itself is an oxymoron,” Kelley says. “The
>> placebo effect is the effect of something that has no effect. That can’t be
>> true.”*
>>
>> L.
>>
>
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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