[Ads-l] Wet read

victor steinbok aardvark66 at GMAIL.COM
Thu Aug 3 07:05:51 UTC 2017

I've encountered another example recently of jargon failing to keep up with
technology -- or, more precisely, old terms for new issues.

While waiting for a friend's test results at an emergency room, I heard the
nurse nonchalantly talk about a "wet read". Given this was a CT scan, this
puzzled a couple of other observers.

It's not complicated. "Wet read" originated as a stat read of X-ray images
right after developing, while the film was still dripping wet. Film is now
rarely used, as images are processed and stored electronically, but the
term persevered. This has been discussed both in radiology and language

This is the first time, however, that I heard the term applied to dynamic
electronic imaging, such as CT scan, MRI, etc. I'm sure it's quite common,


The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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