T + 64 Colds to Left of Them, Cold to the Right of Them

I'm just back from the transplant clinic and everything is steady as she goes. I got an early appointment this week, 08:45 , after last week's long delays. I've kept that time for next week as well. It means I have to get up early and battle a bit of traffic getting in to Birmingham but it also means I have more of the day to myself after the clinic and it's good practice for having to get up when I start working from home again and need to be at my computer for 08:00.

As I say everything was fine at the clinic. My counts are doing well so I don't need any more GCSF at the moment. My white cells were 6.3 , my neutrophils were 4.4 and my haemoglobin was up to 11.3, after my transfusion last week. Whether the white cells and neutrophils were up because of the last few drops of GCSF or my bone marrow is kicking up a gear I'm not sure. I guess I'll see how they are doing next week.

Whilst I'm fine everyone around me seems to be getting a cold ( and/or sore throat and cough). My Brother, my Dad and my friend Andy all have colds at the moment and even a handyman I was getting to come in to give me a quote for re-tiling the bathroom had to cancel as he got a cold and I'd warned him about my condition and the need to avoid diseased people. ( Harsh but fair. )

I discussed what to do if I think I am getting a cold with my consultant. Basically if it's just a runny nose then I need to let the clinic know the day before I am due to go so they can put me in a side room on my clinic day and also take a nasal sample to make sure it's not the start of the flu. If I have any sort of cough or sore throat then I need to phone up right away and most likely go in to get some antibiotics and have some blood cultures taken.

It does make me a little nervous all these people getting colds. I feel there's a certain inevitability about me getting one. I usually get a cold at some point in the Winter months though perhaps since I'm not in general circulation I won't this year.

Some Musings on the Apostrophe

As you may know I'm a bit of a cunning linguist on the side ( ooh Matron!) and am fascinated by the intricacies of language, both English and foreign . Typing the word flu earlier in this post gave me pause for thought about the role of the apostrophe to indicate abbreviation or contraction.

Until quite recently whenever I refered to a phone in writing I would always write it as 'phone just as a sort of mental reminder that the original word was telephone and perhaps in some way keep that word alive. I was wholly inconsistent in this role as a curator of truncated words and would rarely if ever write photo' when referring to photograph. Of late I have dropped the leading apostrophe before phone as it seemed like a bit of an affectation.

Flu however is rather interesting as it is derived from influenza and so has both a pre and post contraction, as it were. If I were being (a) consistent and/or (b) pedantic it I would write it as 'flu' with both leading and trailing apostrophes and then the word looks like it is in quotes rather than having contractions. According to the online etymology dictionary, the word flu first occurs in 1839 and I wonder if it was written with the apostrophes then?

These apostrophes almost act like the writing on tombstones marking the death of a word and gradually with the passing of time and erosion from the the linguistic weather they wear away until the original words like telephone and photograph decompose in unmarked graves. Now to paraphrase Mark Twain, reports of the death of telephone and photograph have been grossly exaggerated but I wonder what words we use today are contractions of longer words which we are now not even aware of.

You see these are the sort of things I think about when I have too much time on my hands.


Andy H said…
ill' = illness?
't'v' = television?

I always thought that apostrophe was used when letters were missed out from two separate words which have been abbreviated.

don't = do not
won't = will not - hmmm
can't = cannot - idea starts to break down here.

I'm sure Lynne Truss has something to say about this.
Geri said…
I'm with Andy on the apostrophe question. As far as colds, there are a number of things a person can do once they've got one. Vitamin C and zinc are always good, as is chicken soup. I've got a few more on my blog if you're interested.

Anyway, good luck with the apostrophe issue, and I hope you don't get a cold.

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