Trocar

Things That are Fun to Say but are Really Quite Awful

The English language is lots of fun, filled with words that roll off the tongue in a satisfying way. But lately I’ve noticed that many of these fun-to-say words will completely ruin one’s day when plugged into Google Images.

Pleurisy

Why it’s fun to say

It’s a noun with an adjective sort of feel. I’m feeling pleurisy today. Plus, it’s an off-rhyme of Morrissey, a name which has few rhyme possibilities of any kind.

Why it’s awful

Pleurisy is an inflammation of the lining around the lungs, which causes a sharp, stabbing pain every time the sufferer breathes. Since one cannot survive without breathing, Pleurisy can cause a persistent agony. Persistent agony! That really sucks.

Miserable bastard though he may be, Morrissey certainly wouldn’t want pleurisy. Too bad. It is extra fun to say “Morrissey has pleurisy.”

Trocar

Why it’s fun to say

Trocar is a meaty word, with serious syllables. TROCAR. It’s almost Russian in its severity. Interestingly, it is French in origin, from trois-quarts¬†or three-quarters. Sounds like trochee, which is the odd metrical foot featured in Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven.” Language is fun!

Why it’s awful

A trocar is a sharp, pointy thing with a tube inside, and will probably be the last tool ever inserted into your body. Though it has other medical uses, it is most famously used by funeral professionals to drain your blood and then pump you full of embalming fluid. Three-quarters of it will be in your neck. Edgar Allan Poe indeed.

Trocar is a word so awful, that my spell-checker has attempted to turn it into “carrot” several times.

Elephantiasis

Why it’s fun to say

On the surface, it sounds like a simple way to explain that something has gotten too big… with elephants! Elephants are cool. Every kid knows this. So if my head feels huge with sinus pressure, I can say, “Wow, I’ve got elephantiasis of the brain.” Right?

Why it’s awful

Sure, as long as my head is grossly disfigured with sinusitis. Elephantiasis describes any number of grotesque, unnatural, and painful enlargements of the body, including Proteus Syndrome, which is what The Elephant Man suffered from.

So unless you want to risk your skeleton ending up in Michael Jackson’s estate, do not describe yourself as having elephantiasis in any way. Unless you do actually have it. In which case, I’m sorry.

Botfly

Why it’s fun to say

Robot fly! Come on! How cool is that? This nanobot technology is really coming into its own, I tell you.

Why it’s awful

It is not a robot.

I just learned about the botfly, an insect which notably implants its larvae into the skin of animals. The parasite then grows in the skin, literally sticking a breathing tube out during its development. Its bodily fluids can cause anaphylactic shock. Though they’re more commonly found in livestock and other animals, human absolutely get these. And do.

A kindly co-worker of mine rescues feral cats and provides medical care for them prior to their eventual adoption. He posted pictures online of a botfly removal procedure on one of the kittens, featuring the dead larvae and his newly excavated cat-skin orifice. I threw up a little in my mouth. Then, I threw up a lot in the bathroom.

Don’t say botfly. I can’t be sure that saying it will attract them. It probably won’t. But still.

 

 

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