In his recent list of the “top 10 most fatuous phrases in the English language,” Rod Liddle, the somewhat controversial associate editor of The Spectator, included at #7, “bravely fighting cancer.”
“An odious phrase, patronizing and meaningless,” Liddle wrote. “All people with cancer are bravely fighting the vile disease. All people with cancer who have decided not to fight it, but instead to acquiesce, are also brave — perhaps even more brave. In truth, ‘bravery’ and ‘fighting’ have nothing to do with it.”~TM
How, in 2014, does this happen? What thinking, feeling person believes this is an acceptable way to convey this kind of news?
A surgeon’s office calls a patient* who had cancer surgery three weeks before. The patient doesn’t answer so the office person leaves a message to confirm the date, a week hence, of the follow-up appointment to discuss the pathology.
Then, three hours later, the associated cancer clinic (a major Canadian centre) calls the same patient, who is still not home, and leaves the following message (wording approximate): Your appointment with the surgeon has been cancelled. Instead, see <substitute doctor> a week later. In the meantime, call the radiation oncology department. Continue reading →