A little over a year ago, the Health Quality Council of Alberta launched a campaign to eliminate abbreviations in health care, arguing that their inherent ambiguity could lead to devastating consequences in life-or-death situations. Does DOA mean “date of admission” or “dead on arrival”? And in fast-paced health care settings especially, using these abbreviations increases the risk of misinterpretation.
Fortunately, most of us sweary language lovers live and work in more relaxed environments, and we can exploit the ambiguity of abbreviations for entertainment. Here are some favourite examples, in alphabetical order, taken from real sources. Leave yours in the comments! (Mouse over the headings if you’re not familiar with what they euphemize.)
Some medical professionals use Afib to refer to atrial fibrillation, and although this short form is about 1/15th as frequently used in writing as AF, it might gain some ground thanks to the growing popularity of as fuck.
To be fair, being the commissioner of the Buffalo Fire Department is a big fucking deal.
( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)
(That’s deep transverse friction, a type of massage that is said to promote soft-tissue repair…)
Observation of appropriate ED patients in a dedicated ED observation area, instead of a general inpatient bed or an acute care ED bed, is a “best practice” that requires a commitment of staff and hospital resources.
…because what erectile dysfunction patients want most is observation.
Some places prefer ER (emergency room) or A&E (accident and emergency) to ED (emergency department). I wonder why?
Adobe’s FML policy will run concurrently with any applicable benefit programs (e.g. STD, VDI, SDI, etc.).Adobe’s FML policy will run concurrently with any applicable benefit programs (e.g. STD, VDI, SDI, etc.).
A twofer! From the section on family and medical leave in Adobe’s benefits manual. See also STD.
From a study about green tea (GT) and fish oil (FO) supplementation for prostate cancer treatment.
From the Operating Procedures & Policies of University of Iowa’s Joint Finance Committee.
And some part-of-speech tagging for the linguists:
…in this case referring to shortness of breath—but we’d all survive better without SOBs.
This one’s oddly appropriate.
I’m sure people in the insurance industry love this short-term disability joke and aren’t tired of hearing it at all.
Whether it means “short-term follow up” or “shut the fuck up” is probably what separates the good doctors from the bad.
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