Monday, June 22, 2009

Two Rants for the Price of One

When I think of two things to be annoyed about between the grocery store and home, it's time to get on the soapbox.

Rant #1: Actually, this is a twofer, dealing with a couple of dumb usage mistakes that I frequently read and hear.

  • When you are trying a different approach to something, you do not "take a different tact." The word is TACK -- from sailing, in which you adjust your sails to catch wind so as to sail in a different direction. I think people who use this are thinking of "tactic," which is, of course, another word for strategy or approach... and then they get the two mixed up and come out with "take a different tact." Noooooooo!
  • When you are narrowing your aim toward a particular object, you do not "hone in on" it. You HOME in on it. Again, almost understandable. To hone is to sharpen, so yes, you want to sharpen and refine your sights to find exactly what you're looking for, but the word comes from HOMING pigeons, with their natural ability to find their way to a particular destination, and then later, such navigational aids as radar and sonar.
Rant #2: In between the grocery store and my house is a hospital. They apparently have adopted the same sort of no-smoking rules that most other medical facilities have nowadays -- NO smoking anywhere on the grounds. Fortunately, the place covers one small city block and the emergency entrance is quite close to the street. The smokers simply walk outside (taking care, presumably, not to get run over by a speeding ambulance) and smoke out on the public sidewalk.

Yes, smoking is legal and they have every right. I can understand a past, present or future patient smoking. Or the next of kin of a very sick person relieving their stress with a cigarette. I know how addictive nicotine is -- my mother lay dying in the hospital 20 years ago, with oxygen, and her last conversation with my father was an argument about why he couldn't bring in her cigarettes and let her smoke in bed!

But what annoys me, beyond all reason, is medical professionals who smoke. This evening I passed the "smokers' corner" and saw a woman in full surgical gear -- gown, cap, booties and even a mask, hanging around her neck -- puffing away.

Sorry, that's just gross. I can visualize the person doing what my husband does: Hold that last drag in the lungs as long as possible and then let it out just before going back inside the building. On goes the mask, and that grungy air gets exhaled into the fibers of the mask, just before the wearer leans down to examine that incision... Yech, ptui!!

I hate to encourage draconian employer policies, since we already have more than enough of those ... but medical professionals who smoke on the job? I'm sorry. I cannot muster up any degree of tolerance for that. Light up the second you clock out, if you must. Smoke all night at home, if you must. But please consider the workplace a sacred space and leave those damn things at home! If you can't go 8 hours without a smoke, you are in a very sad place and need to get some help.

This concludes the rant.

1 comment:

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Your rants, besides being completely valid and after my own heart, are so well put!