14 February 2011

Poliomyelitis

I realize that this post will make some of you think of me as foolish, yet I post anyway.


I am currently out of town, in New York, for work.  I love, love, love this city.  The reason for my post, however, has only coincidental ties to New York.  Continuing my inexplicable run of reading books with the word Girl/Boy/Man/Woman/Guy/Gal in the title, I brought two books with me: Wonder Boys by Michael Chabon and The Last Boy by Jane Leavy.  Chabon is an author I greatly admire, even if some of his books drive me nuts.  I've read most of his work, but I skipped Wonder Boys because I had already seen the movie numerous times.  The Last Boy is a recent biography of Mickey Mantle, which received across-the-board rave reviews.  I rarely read biographies, and I like the Yankees only slightly more than small pox, but I always wanted to understand why he was such a hero to so many.  After about 100 pages, it's easy to see why.


The odd parallel of these books, other than the word Boy in the titles, is the word poliomyelitis.  I had never seen this word in my life until my flight on Sunday, and I consider myself well-read.  I tend to read a few books at once (or more) and started both on the flight.  In the first twenty five pages of each book, poliomyelitis (or poliomyelitic) was used to describe children (Mickey, in The Last Boy) with serious leg problems.  For the life of me, I couldn't figure out how I had never heard that word before now.  It stuck with me for a couple of days before my dumb ass realized both authors were talking about POLIO.  Yes, polio.  I could use a shot of penicillin for my stupidity.  For some reason, I have a hard time recognizing when people shorten or abbreviate words.  And don't get me started on acronyms.  I almost always think they're real words.


Doctor Zhivago is on again in my hotel room.  No more writing.

2 comments:

  1. "Seems like porno should be short for something."

    - J. Lea, Cowles Dining Hall, ~2000

    ReplyDelete