Let me introduce today's link with a personal story. Last August, we had our daughter's gall bladder removed, and it turned out to be the end of two years of stomach misery, illness, and her emotional depression (well, mostly; she is sixteen, after all).
As we spoke with the surgeon in his post-op consultation, he told us that if he'd performed this operation ten years ago, the AMA would have had him up on charges for conducting unnecessary surgery. But in the past decade, the gall bladders of America's youth have gone to h-e-double-hockey-sticks in a handbasket, due to our fast food use and diets of convenience. He said that now, removing the gall bladders of teenagers is fairly commonplace.
And that's just sad. Which is why the White House has gotten involved.
One evening while I was complaining about my bad exercise habits and tight clothes, my four-year old daughter decided to pick up my spirits, as she often does.
This time she coined a new word for me. She said, "Oh no, Mommy, you look flabulous!"
[selected, with thanks, from Da Mousetracks]
WORD for YOUR WEEK: What the four-year old in the above story was trying to do was placate Mommy. Placate means to make someone less angry, less upset, less hostile, by doing something to make them feel happier. It comes from the same word - in a purer form, even - that gave us the word "please." It's from Latin and was originally "placere," which meant to please.