second thoughts on Nkinis

James A. Landau JJJRLandau at AOL.COM
Sun Dec 26 17:50:30 UTC 2004

In a message dated > Sat, 25 Dec 2004 12:40:48 -0500,  "Mark A. Mandel" <
> mamandel at LDC.UPENN.EDU> kvetches:
>    >>>>>
> an ADS-L member, who I will not cite by name, was I understand once
> suffering chemotherapy for non-Hodgkins's lymphoma.  Said member wrote:
> >(who in fact coward 1/3 of the way out of his own 4th B cycle a
> >couple of years ago)
> Forsooth!  Dr. non-Hodgkins will be ashamed of you!
> <<<<<
> If you are scolding our colleague for backing out of medical treatment that
> (so far as I know) neither you nor I have had to endure, I have nothing to
> say. If you are commenting on the use of "coward" as a past tense verb, I
> second the motion.

Neither of the above.  I was merely suggesting that the existence of a
disease called "non-Hodgkin['s] lymphoma" implies the existence of an eponymous Dr.
non-Hodgkin who was a pioneer in the diagnosis and/or treatment of the

Our colleague did not "back out of medical treatment."  By his own statement,
during his 4th B cycle he merely requested his doctor to reduce the
chemotherapy to 2/3 of the usual dosage, else he would have said that he had "coward
all the way out" of said treatment.

Does it not bother you to see "suffer" used as a transitive verb?

Douglas Wilson list (no, that should be Douglas Wilson's list) of disease
names that lack possessives includes "Lyme disease" and "Rocky Mountain spotted
fever".  In both these names, the capitalized part is a geographical not a
personal reference.

While I still have my foot in my mouth, a few unrelated comments:

I seriously doubt that "don't make waves" is a scatalogic reference, since it
is such an obvious and straightforward metaphor.  Consider that someone
standing in a swimming pool or similar small body of water who jumps up and down or
otherwise makes a disturbance literally "makes waves", hence "don't make
waves" = "don't make a disturbance".

I am sure that Reinhold Aman is correct that a dirty joke was invented which
used the pre-existing non-scatalogical expression as the punchline.

As for optimists and pessimists, but without doughnuts, see

     To the optimist, the glass is half full.
     To the pessimist, the glass is half empty.
     To the engineer, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.

And a merry New Year to you all,

     Jim Landau

More information about the Ads-l mailing list