Tag Archives: jargon

what’s in a word…?

22 Feb


Having cut my adult teeth on medical jargon, you would think after 33years in the Health system, I would be used to nonsensical language. But the past few days have highlighted that you can never stay ahead of the ever changing word game. It seems that creation of new language (and acronyms) is a never ending craze… morphing and changing a bit like a mutating virus

I attended a conference over the past couple of days.The presentations were a mix of really interesting… voyeuristic…inspiring… and zzzzzzzzzzzz and I spent much of the time focussing on the language.

Every industry has its own ‘speak’ … a way of communicating that either  lets you ‘in’ or blocks you ‘out’ and I guess we just get used to it and become a bit immune; BUT when you superimpose web words, social media speak and industry idiom… and bring them together in one sentence it can be a little comical even to an insider. … for example

“using SMS, twitter & FB to increase HCV PCR screening of  IDU via SHCs & NSP”.

On top of that… it  seems that no organisation goes by a full title anymore, keeping you guessing what they actually do (mmm…perhaps that’s a strategy in itself ) and adding to the jargon. Over the  past two days we had CSRH,ACON, ASHM, MHHAS, AFAO, NHMRC, AHMRC, AIVL, NUAA along with NSP….. and that’s just off the top of my head.

But I wonder how different all of this language is really ?… compared to the late 70’s when I was just a junior nurse.

Ten points to anyone who can decipher the following (real) entry in a very memorable medical file when I worked in the Emergency Dept in 1979.

“this LOL, PAAF fell and # RNOF”

go figure …