[lit-ideas] Re: Here's a new spin on preventative medicine

  • From: Robert Paul <rpaul@xxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Fri, 30 May 2008 19:10:21 -0700

I'd always thought that 'preventative' was one of those barbarisms, like 'orientate,' that somehow crept into the language while I was doing research on molluscs in Greenland, but apparently there's a difference.

'The doctor gave him two aspirin as a preventative.'

(The two aspirin are specific things.)

'In our clinic we emphasize preventive medicine.'

('Medicine' is non-specific abstraction.)

'Orientate,' seems to be derived from 'orientation,' just as 'interpretate' is a rebarbative ('one who shaves or is shaved more than once') folk extraction from 'interpretation.'

Robert Paul,
just getting his bearings,
somewhere south of the city limits

David Ritchie wrote

On May 30, 2008, at 1:02 PM, Julie Krueger wrote:

"It means that doctors are practicing what they call preventative medicine. In
other words, if you think somebody's going to sue you, if you're in a
litigious society, then you'll take extra care by prescribing more and more
either procedures, or whatever it may be."

I'd prescribe one of P.G. Wodehouse's "tissue restorers."

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