it's about life, my life, quilts, midwifery, and whatever else occurs to me.

03 July 2013

Three rants

This has been coming for a while now.

 Rant #1: 'High school degree'. I read this only a few weeks ago in the soi-disant Paper of Record, the august New York Times. My understanding has always been that only people who complete a course of study at a college or university get a Degree, whereas what you get when you finish high school is called a Diploma. But it's possible I could be wrong. So, let's see what the DICTIONARY has to say:

from The Free Dictionary: An academic title given by a college or university to a student who has completed a course of study: received the Bachelor of Arts degree at commencement.

from Merriam-Webster: a title conferred on students by a college, university, or professional school on completion of a program of study.

And when you google "high school degree", guess what comes up?

Now we have three sources that say I'm right: the words 'degree' and 'high school' do not belong together. So dammit, New York Times and everyone else in the world, get it right!

Rant #2: 'Emergency cesarean section'. This terminology is used in Oz to describe a c-section done when the woman is already in labor. Now some of them are indeed emergencies: a prolapsed umbilical cord, for example; or massive hemorrhage. But in Oz, the term is applied not just to these rare and actually life-threatening situations but to ANY cesarean on any woman in labor, or I guess I should say labour since it's Oz we're talking about.

Referring to Merriam-Webster again, we find an 'emergency' is: an unforeseen combination of circumstances or the resulting state that calls for immediate action.

And this from the Oxford Dictionary online: a serious, unexpected, and often dangerous situation requiring immediate action.

Anyone who has worked in a labor and birth unit knows that while immediate action may be needed in some 'emergency cesarean' situations like the ones cited above, there are many others - possibly even the majority -  where the problem is that the baby just isn't coming out the usual way. And while you wouldn't want any undue delays, as long as the mother and baby are both stable, there is no 'emergency'. I think another slightly less fraught term should be substituted. Something like, say, 'cesarean section in labour'.

Rant #3: Hobby Lobby. My nominee for the most nauseating and obnoxious business name ever. Not only does the rhymey name itself make my teeth itch, but it's a chain of craft supplies stores where odds are everything in the whole place was made in Chinese sweatshops. It's owned by religious nutjobs who quite illogically oppose both abortion AND the only thing that actually decreases the need for abortion, i.e., contraception. Here is the latest on that front Maybe it would be okay for HL (I can't even bring myself to write it out again, never mind say it out loud) not to allow even their medical insurance provider to cover contraceptives without a co-pay if the company were to pay their employees a real living wage and while we're at it, how about a bonus for every baby? But according to, the starting hourly rate for a cashier is a meager $7.85 and even managers top out at under $20/hour. I can't say I hope they go out of business, because that would mean a lot of people would be unemployed and even worse off than they are now, but  let's just say I wouldn't be sorry to see them get bought out by Costco.

By no means is my ranting done, but I think 3 is a good number for a blog post. I like that I included one US usage, one Australian usage, and one evil business; I didn't plan it that way, it just happened, but it has a certain appeal and perhaps will be a template for future rantful posts. Cheers mate!  

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