21 November 2009

Who can adumbrate the meaning of "polysystem"?

It's a shame that Dr Grumble has had to turn off the comments because he needs your help. You see Dr Grumble has encountered a new word. The word is "polysystem". Where it came from Dr Grumble has no idea. What it means also eludes poor old Grumble. But it does sound worryingly close to "polyclinic". Dr Grumble is very suspicious of new words - especially when he does not understand them.

People who coin new words without obvious meanings do so with a purpose. The purpose is to bamboozle and obfuscate or even confuse and conceal. This sort of thing happens quite often in healthcare. Do you remember when "contestability" and "plurality" perplexed Dr Grumble? These words were used as a sort of private code in the belief that the likes of Grumble wouldn't understand what was going on. It didn't work. When Dr Grumble finds a word he cannot understand he is immediately suspicious. And if he doesn't find it in his albeit old dictionary he is even more suspicious.

So, applying that test, let's see what the dictionaries have to say when it comes to the word "polysystem":

Not much help from the dictionaries then. So Dr Grumble is now very suspicious. He was minded to set his readers the challenge of finding out what a polysystem is. It is generally a good idea to get people to think for themselves rather than be spoon fed. But the comments are off so maybe that is not such a good idea. Or maybe it is?

1 comment:

Dr Grumble said...

If you want to comment on this topic, the Jobbing Doctor has picked up on the topic of polysystems.