Alright. Here’s the thing. I went to the doctor’s this morning for a routine blood test – I have an underactive thyroid and they do regular checks to make sure my supplementary hormone is at the right level, which is fine by me, since I neither want to put on huge amounts of weight or go into terminal overdrive and die of a heart attack.
At exactly the time on my appointment slip, I was called into the nurse’s room. Yay!
I sat down, she made the usual polite conversation while she was getting things ready, and then she put that strangle-your-biceps thing on and picked up the syringe and she said:
‘Just a little scratch … !’
Just a little what?? You know, they always say that these days, and I started to wonder why. I mean, it isn’t a scratch, she’s about to poke a hole in me with a sharp instrument, viz, one needle. Scratches just glance across the surface. There’s no way you’d get a syringe full of blood from one, and that being her aim, she was definitely going to make a hole right through one of my veins. That is not a scratch!
You know what I think? I think it’s another example of a Worlde Gonne Madde! I mean, of course, political correctness.
What nurses used to say, and what they seem reluctant to say these days is:
‘Just a little prick … !’
I’m guessing that she wants to avoid -
a) sniggers and smart-arse retorts from both sexes,
b) threats of compensation suits from insecure men with small appendages and hurt feelings, and
c) offers to prove she’s wrong from men at the other end of the dangly bit spectrum.
But, for goodness’ sake! How many more perfectly good and useful words are we going to allow to be quietly shuffled into the Lexicon of Unacceptable Words? What next? Are we going to have to come up with a different word for a ball?
Or maybe that would only be a problem when there’s more than one of them!