Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Sat Apr 24 05:54:40 UTC 2010

My bad, I was reaching for _phlebitis_, whence the following reference
to "fleas."


On Wed, Apr 21, 2010 at 6:19 PM, Arnold Zwicky <zwicky at> wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Arnold Zwicky <zwicky at STANFORD.EDU>
> Subject:      Re: Phlebonics
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> On Apr 21, 2010, at 3:02 PM, Joel S. Berson wrote:
>> At 4/21/2010 10:59 AM, Arnold Zwicky wrote:
>>> On Apr 21, 2010, at 7:25 AM, Joel S. Berson wrote:
>>>> At 4/21/2010 12:32 AM, Wilson Gray wrote:
>>>>> Isn't there also an auxiliary branch of medicine known as
>>>>> "phlebonics," where they draw your blood or something? This is
>>>>> not to
>>>>> be confused with that infamous bit of quacksalvery known as
>>>>> "fleabonics." Everybody knows that can't cancer be cured with any
>>>>> fleas, despite what those local-cable ads claim.
>>>> Are you thinking of phlebotonics?  The science of studying the
>>>> processes of blood coursing through meat-eating plants?  :-)
>>> on a more serious note, he might have been thinking of phlebotomy
>>> (etymologically 'vein'-cutting'), the drawing of blood for clinical
>>> purposes -- by a phlebotomist.
>> Gee. arnold, if I'd known you were so serious, I would have
>> explained myself.
> why so snarky, Joel? i thought i made it clear that i understood that
> you were joking.
> but i also understood Wilson to have been asking a serious question,
> which no one had tried to answer -- before he digressed into joking
> about "fleabonics".  (but then Wilson's digressions, on a rough
> association-of-ideas basis, are famous around here, so they shouldn't
> be used to discount what they take off from.)
> but now it seems that everyone understands Wilson's query about
> "phlebotonics" to have been a joke as well.  so i'm a fool and i
> should have just stayed out of the whole thing.
> arnold
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