Medical Oral Malpractice

I watch a lot of medical shows on television. At 84 years old, I have also seen many doctors. I would say that I have an above-average medical vocabulary. Consequently, I pick up frequent mispronunciations of medical terms.

Who is at fault? The writer? The director? Who cares?  Apparently, no one.

Although such shows strive for realism, they fail when this occurs. And it bothers me.

I suppose real doctors are bothered when operating room procedures are misrepresented as well.

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Half a Job is an Incomplete Job

As a graphic designer with considerable knowledge and experience (over 50 years), occasionally I am approached by a commercial printer for help. He gets a file from one of his customers, but it cannot be printed for one or more of a variety of reasons.

The reason is that the designer had only dealt with the appearance of the image, without giving consideration to the myriad aspects that are required by the commercial printer to impose the image on paper, plastic, glass, or similar medium.

It would be like a plumber installing a faucet without connecting it to a water supply, or an electrician installing a new outlet in a wall without connecting it to a power supply.

Here are some of the considerations for proper printing:

  1. Size: The image must created to the exact size as the medium; larger if the image is to bleed over the edge so there is no white space around it after it is trimmed. Crop marks must also be included to assure proper trimming.
  2. Resolution: For printing, a resolution of 300 dpi is ideal for clarity. Anything less will result in pixelation, where the tiny dots that make up the image become visible to the naked eye.
  3. Color: Most printing today uses a concept called process color. Rather than using inks of specific colors, printing presses and home desktop printers use only four colors (red, yellow, blue, and black) to create the millions of possible color combinations that may be in an image. This scheme is also referred to as CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow and black).

If the image is for digital display, such as on a website, the color scheme is completely different. Such images are displayed with light rather than ink. This calls for a three-color system of red, green, and blue light (RGB) to create all color combinations.

In summary, the action of designing is only half the job. It takes a lot more effort to get to the final product.



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If you need technical support with your computer or with a software problem, DO NOT waste your time by complaining. Most of the time, the company merely will attempt to placate you.

The most effective thing you can do is to hang up and call again. Recently, I called a software vendor and it took the agent two hours and he was unable to resolve my problem. I hung up and called back and the new agent resolved my problem in ten minutes.

Afterwards, I composed a letter on paper about this lack of training issue and mailed it to the CEO. He never got it. It was hijacked by his personal support team who clearly did not understand that this was a management issue, not a technical issue.

So do not waste your time trying to escalate an issue; it rarely works. I never heard back from the CEO.

Simply hang up and call again.

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Bad or Badly

As those who follow my blog know, I detest the use of bad grammar.

Badly is an adverb and explains how something was done. Bad is an adjective and describes a noun. Since the word being modified is “feel” (a verb), the proper modifier is “badly” (an adverb). Thus, the expression “I feel badly” would mean that I am having difficulty in feeling.

Or, I could have a poor sense of touch, a problem that could affect people with small hands (hah!). If the term is to be used to describe a mood or state of mind, one could say “I feel sad” and avoid the issue completely.

The misuse of this expression brings back a fond memory of an old television show where the leading character uttered in frustration, “You feel badly this way,” while rubbing his fingers together.

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Citibank Bugs Me

For many, many months I have been plagued by failed logins into my Citibank checking account.  Initially, it seemed as if the bank’s mobile software was randomly and
spontaneously changing my User ID.

The bank has claimed that it was my devices (iPhone and desktop computer) that were at the root of the problem. I insisted that it was not. As evidence, I demonstrated that my wife was able to login to the same account with from the same desktop with ease. I also used Geek Squad to clean my computer in case it had a virus.

Nevertheless, Citibank insisted that I close the account and open a new one. It was extremely inconvenient for a multiplicity of reasons. I started to use the new account and the problem of failed logins continued. All of my efforts to seek a solution failed. I wrote letters to the president of Citibank, made myriad calls to the Citibank support call center, and made countless visits to my local branch; I had no success anywhere.

I decide to draw on my experience of over 50 year with computers to try to resolve the problem on my own. I found that there is a glitch caused by either a bug in the mobile software itself or a bug in the way it interfaces with the operating system itself.

I found that after a login by cell phone or desktop computer something happens that causes the User ID field to be filled in automatically. This is a mistake, since the computer would not know who was at the computer nor which account was being addressed.

When I paid a closer look at the opening screen, I got my first clue. I noticed that the username on the phone and the computer were different. The ID on the phone had a lower case “s” and the  computer had a capital “S” in the User ID box.

In my naiveté, I made the mistake of accepting this entry in both cases and proceeded to enter only my password. Of course, the login failed since there was no match. This led me to the mistaken conclusion the some phantom at Citibank’s mainframe was changing my User ID.

I have since cleaned up my act by deleting whatever was there and typing in my “real” ID. Now, all of my logins are succeeding.

Just to be a good sport about this (albeit reluctantly), I wrote to the President about my discovery.

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As You Say It!






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One Drug, One name

A common discussion these days is about a popular opiod. A large number of politicians and broadcasters know what it is but they do not know how to pronounce it.

The name of the drug is fentanyl (fenn-tann-ill). Yet, it is pronounced “fen-tinn-all” quite frequently by some. Either they do not care enough, or do not care at all.

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