Friday, September 12, 2008

Overheard on IM

Actually, this one was overheard on IM after being overheard on Dr. Phil:

Susan: oh my god. I'm watching Dr. Phil (I know, he's disgusting) and one of the "expert women doctors" he's got on there giving advice just talked about the "stigmata" of getting cervical cancer. Do you even believe?

Barbara Atkinson: whaaa?

Barbara Atkinson: that's hysterical! (pun intended)

Stigmata: a plural noun that means marks that look like crucifixion wounds.

The word she wanted was stigma: the shame attached to something that's socially unacceptable.

Barbara's pun was a great one. Hysterical means extremely funny or affected by hysteria--an uncontrollable emotion such as grief. Its root is the Greek word for womb. Hysteria literally means wandering womb. We refrain from casting judgment on long-dead Greeks. Wait, no we don't. Sexist bastards.

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