Subculture. thefreedictionary.com defines it as ‘a cultural subgroup differentiated by…factors that functionally unify the group and act collectively on each member’ . According to this definition, the medical profession’s a subculture – even though it’s not on Wikipedia’s list of subcultures . One factor delineating a subculture’s a unique vocabulary. Medicine has one. Well, two actually. One’s the official one comprising orthodox medical terminology. And the other’s an unofficial one – that’s known to medical practitioners but not to non-medical people. In general its words, phrases and acronyms are irreverent at best, insulting at worst, and non politically correct always. Also funny. Very funny. Here’s a BBC article from 2003 explaining what I mean . Segueing slightly on from there, is a list of words published in the April 2011 issue of Australian Medicine. Titled ‘The Australian Medical Dictionary’, it comprises definitions of medical terms . But these definitions are funny. No – they’re hilarious. To me, anyway. I wish I had the wit to compose definitions like these. After the week I had last week, ‘The Australian Medical Dictionary’ has helped cheer me up. That’s for sure.
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