Monday, March 2, 2009

Regrets, I have a few

Last month, I wrote about feeling a little sick to my stomach at one of my radiation sessions and attempting to alert the radiation technician by scribbling the word "nauseous" in the blank margin of my newspaper.

When I held up the newspaper and pointed at what I wrote, the radiation technician looked confused. I figured he was having trouble reading my handwriting.

It turns out that he may have been confused at what I was trying to tell him, or simply appalled at my ignorance.

I've been using the English language for at least 50 years but it wasn't until last Friday that I learned the true definition of the word "nauseous."

I'm probably the guy who is least qualified to tell you the meaning of the word, so I'll let Norman Drabble from the funny pages present that lesson.


Norman may be the dumbest guy in the Drabble household, but it turns out that Professor Drabble is correct. "Nauseated" is the word that I should have scribbled on my newspaper and held up to the radiation technician's face.

The only thing that could make me feel worse would be if it had been the Drabbles' next-door neighbor from across the newspaper gutter, Cathy, who showed me up rather than Norman.

I'd like to blame my error on my medical condition. As far as I know, however, cancer has not spread to my brain, and there is no reason to believe that it will.

No, I really believed that "nauseous" was the proper word to deploy in that situation in the treatment room. It's how I have been using the word all my life.

Ideally, I would prefer to quietly edit my blog and cover up my linguistic crime, like I have done with some past boners and boo-boos here.

But I know that 15 readers of TP have signed up as "followers" and I am afraid that some of you might start misusing the word "nauseous," too.

One of my friends can tell you that I recently insisted that "pantomine" was a legitimate word. So if you're looking to follow someone who knows how to speak and write English, maybe Gore Vidal is writing a blog these days.

Luckily, no license is required to blog, else I would be racking up points and at risk of having that privilege revoked. There is no telling what I might come up with next.

Take anything you read here with a grain of Gestalt.

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