Medicine’s Contribution to Language

I love language and writing. And I must clearly love medicine (although that one took a little longer, much like Beethoven and his piano).

Did you know that the concept of gossiping actually originates in medicine?

Giving birth was considered a social event – ladies only, of course. A pregnant woman would invite some of her friends to attend, even a younger daughter if she was deemed “mature” enough. These participants in the labour process were called gossips and their chattering before, during and after the birth later became known as gossiping.

On a more serious note, I think that having a childbirth companion is so important and so often overlooked in public healthcare, especially in South African clinics where “outsiders” are kept outside for safety reasons. It helps to have someone to calm the mother down and rub her back so that health care workers can focus on getting the baby and placenta out in one piece.

4 thoughts on “Medicine’s Contribution to Language

  1. That’s really interesting. I know that the French royals also used to do this, only they had more than a few ladies-they had the entire court attend! It’s also fascinating how much ideas have changed…

  2. Long story short about half shrink better half. She works for a Hospital at a Psychiatry unit but her specialty is medicine. In her role she has to sign off patients that they are medically fit to be psychologically evaluated. She also has to attend the medical issues of psychiatry inpatient. To get out chief complaint of the patient is a daily challenge that has to deal with patience and creativity almost like an alternative therapy. This is not the job of her first preference, why, how & under what circumstances she ended up there is yet another interesting saga that has comedy of errors, gluttony, ambition & challenging career all mixed in. I get a kick out of her job and tease her by giving her tidbits of alternative therapy collected from all over. As part of my routine to enlighten her with a new alternative therapy, yesterday I mentioned to her that I have come across this blog maintained by a medical student Mara from a prestigious college in South Africa. I read about this alternative therapy that someone practiced – guy with the healing foot. I think I forgot to mention who wrote, and obviously she fairly assumed, it it’s on Mara’s blog it’s posted by Mara. The only expression she let out was “Really?” and I just nodded in affirmation. The only question she asked then was; “a Med. student from Africa”? I nodded again in affirmation. I did notice that she missed the prefix south but then I thought hey, SA is part of Africa so no harms there and if it helps affirm her beliefs I don’t want to be the spoiler.
    Next day she mentioned the therapy to her full shrink co-workers, after the initial laugh form the apparent jest, someone expressed a thought to make sense out of the whole parable. He started to draw similarities between Therapy from Mara’s blog and acupuncture and other medieval therapy where a pain or pressure on one point of body helps heal ailments. As you know how quickly things fly in this age. So if the rumor mill reaches your vicinity, you know the source — Mara’s Blog!
    Btw: If the concept catches on you may call it as a language’s contribution to Medicine!!

    And yes, I was allowed to be with her when we were blessed with a joy of our life!!

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