When not being busy as a Goddess Gypsy Irish/Polish Writing Queen (I’m not really sure what that is…), I also spend 40 hours a week working on catalogs. I enter data, order images and copy, and proofread everything from the original description to the final glossy prepress page. One of my catalogs is dedicated to health care. Besides pages being filled with replicas of every body part (inside or outside) you can imagine, I also come across some extraordinary vocabulary.
This catalog is not one of those over-the-top linguistic nightmares, but a publication that is sophisticated enough to be grammatically specific and accurate when needed. At first the vernacular was a tsunami blowing around me. A lot of the images made me blush (scarlet, no less), and the descriptions were mostly gibble to me. But now that I’m a seasoned veteran (sort of), I look at the catalog with a skewered sense of humor. Take the title of this blog, for instance. On Base of Bony Orbit is a description of an eye model; an orbit is the cavity in the skull that contains the eye; the eye socket. So, pulling myself away from the labrynth of product numbers, misspelled words and overlapping graphics, here are a few chuckles and chasms I found along the way.
Romantic Pairings (don’t these sound like lovey-dovey couples from the past?)
Cephalic and Basilic Systolic and Diostolic
Lavage and Gavage Bradycardia and Tachycardia
Larynx and Pharnyx Holodiastolic and Holosystolic
Maximus and Medius Tibula and Fibula
Another alien world in this catalog is the world of words. Oh sure, dictionaries and technical manuals are full of words only Einstein can decipher. But, hey! I am merely an enlightened female on the road to who-knows-where! And these words are in my catalog:
Who Else is Here?
Did you know that there are a lot of people hanging around inside of you, too? Is there no such thing as total privacy?
Loops of Heale
Papillary Duct of Bellini
Angle of Louis
There seems to be a lot of junk and space inside of you, too. Just take a look at what’s really inside of you:
caverns stems radicals tubes
arches trees hammers valves
anvils roofs cords roots
discs nails vaults canals
branches cavities bulbs plates
Stumble Through Ancient Rome
The body is filled with Latin terminology. Sometimes I feel I should say, “ciao, baby!” Thank you Italy…
Vastus lateralis Palmaris ulnaris
Flexor carpi radialis Levator anguli oris
Palmar aponeurosis Prominentia larngea
Lateral decubitus Scala tympani
Orbicularis acculi Peroneus brevis
Patent ductus arteriosus
What is That?
Shorter words that still make no sense to me:
caecum pylorus concha ischium
vomer obdurator pons taenia
otic choroid bolus calyces
necrotic maxilla occiput ulnar
I’m sure there are plenty of other additions I (or you, for a matter of fact), could add to these lists. But this one has already given me a headache. But all in all, you’d have to say I have quite an interesting proofreading life.
I hope I opened your eyes to the reality of your body. You know – the ones on bony orbits. They say your body is a temple, but I think it’s nothing more than an over-articulate, voyeuristic catch basin.
Now – didn’t you find that humerus?