Thursday, December 30, 2010

Post Op Sinus Surgery: Anything in French Always Sounds Better

I am amazed at how you can use a dollop of French to make anything sound better than what it is.  When we want to talk about our backside in a delicate fashion, we use the word derriere.  When we want to show off abit and talk about sea sickness, we use "mal de mer".  "Adeiu" carries more weight than good-bye.  "Decollete" can be used for a really low cut dress. "Pret a Porter" for everyday clothing.  And so on.

My Bete Noir (pet peeve) is in Post Op Sinus Surgery.  My good surgeon wants to ensure good results by removing all guck than can accumulate up my probiscus (nose) so he has me perform nasal lavage twice daily.  Nasal Lavage, what a term!  Lavage is from the French word, laver, to wash.    Lavage sounds like something  that I would go to a spa and have done to me while I was wrapped in sea weed with cucumbers on my eyelids. Lavage sounds like something that I'd find in a very cute bottle with a ribbon on it and lots of other French words inscribed on it.

Nasal Lavage somehow sounds grander and more refined than another term, nasal irrigation.  Irrigation sounds very agricultural and very earthy.  I think of irrigation ditches or maybe pipes with holes in them and water spurting out.  Irrigation might more properly describe the actual goings on of hydrating a very dry area  but social custom wins out, and we call our procedure, lavage instead.
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