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#105364 - 06/11/03 07:27 AM Ptomaine
CarlAdler Offline
newbie

Registered: 11/12/00
Posts: 33
Loc: Eastern North Carolina, US
I recently noted that everybody I know over the age of 55 knows the term "ptomaine poisoning" and regards it as a very common term. Two weeks ago it was one of the answers to NPR's Sunday weekly puzzle. Yet no one I know under the age of 45 as even heard of the term and that includes two nurses and a physician. I find this to be rather strange.
P.S. When I checked the spelling "ptomaine" was flagged though it is spelled corectly.


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#105365 - 06/11/03 07:32 AM Re: Ptomaine
sjm Offline
old hand

Registered: 07/19/02
Posts: 742
Loc: Akina
Well, Carl I just want to say two things: I'm ten years shy of 45,edit: and know the phrase and WELCOME BACK!


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#105366 - 06/11/03 07:51 AM Re: Ptomaine
of troy Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 10/17/00
Posts: 5400
Loc: rego park
ptomaine came up as a subject here last fall.. i stumbled across the word, -and while i too am shy of 55, i knew the word, and vaguely knew the meaning.. but when i looked it up, i had such delight in learning were it came from!

we can continue here, but this thread will serve as a refresher.
http://wordsmith.org/board/showthreaded.pl?Cat=&Board=words&Number=81499

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#105367 - 06/11/03 08:22 AM Re: Ptomaine
wwh Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 01/18/01
Posts: 13858
My father had a patient some time in the twenties who called it "pantomime poisoning".


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#105368 - 06/11/03 09:15 AM Re: Ptomaine
CarlAdler Offline
newbie

Registered: 11/12/00
Posts: 33
Loc: Eastern North Carolina, US
And thank you. Glad to be back.
Carl


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#105369 - 06/11/03 09:48 AM Re: Ptomaine
CarlAdler Offline
newbie

Registered: 11/12/00
Posts: 33
Loc: Eastern North Carolina, US
I thought that "ptomaine" had probably been discussed before but when I searched for it I got no results. What started this is that every Sunday morning I listen to and write down the NPR Quiz which comes on at 8:40 EDT. I then call my son-in-law and daughter and give it to them. The puzzle was to fine a "L" word for the first blank and change the "L" sound to a "T" sound to get the word for the second blank. The sentence was: By eating ____ in a Chinese restaurant you are not likely to get _____ poisoning.

When my literate son-in-law guessed at lomein and was then stumped I was surprised and when my BSRN daughter also had not heard of "ptomaine" I was really surprised. I called others, the general result was those over 55 regarded the question "Have you heard of ptomaine poisoning" as absurd, of course, they have heard of it. While those under 45 including my personal physician drew a complete blank.


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#105370 - 06/11/03 10:04 AM Re: Ptomaine
Faldage Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/01/00
Posts: 13803
Reminds me of a Bloom County strip (there's probably an age thang there, too) where Bingley's dad, in a moment of utter frustration resulting form his advancing age, said, "I don't know whether to wind my watch or go blind!"

His son, all innocence and bewilderment, asks, "Dad? What does it mean, 'to wind your watch'?"


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#105371 - 06/11/03 10:43 AM Re: Ptomaine
of troy Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 10/17/00
Posts: 5400
Loc: rego park
a few years back, my son and i were watching The Third Man- (and just posting that, i am going to guess about half the board has never heard of the movie!- a thriller set in post war austria) and one of the characters makes a 'station to station call'-- which drew a puzzled blank from my son! i still remember when you had to schedule oversea's calls, (letters would be exchanged, to make sure the other party was home!) and even then we still opted for the cheaper station to station, rather than the more expensive person to person!

odd bits of technology hang on in movie scripts, or Curious George illustrations, and in cryptic puzzles!

_________________________
my other obsession

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#105372 - 06/11/03 10:53 AM Re: Ptomaine
CarlAdler Offline
newbie

Registered: 11/12/00
Posts: 33
Loc: Eastern North Carolina, US
But how does a very common term used in states as different as Minnesota, West Virginia and New York disappear so thoroughly in such a short period of time?


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#105373 - 06/11/03 11:31 AM Re: Ptomaine
Faldage Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/01/00
Posts: 13803
how does a very common term disappear so thoroughly in such a short period of time?

When was the last reported case?

Incidentally, three of the first ten google hits are for Prefix Taxonomy Ongoing Measurement & Inter Network Experiment


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