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Today's Word



Aug 7, 2017
This week’s theme
Words related to medicine

This week’s words

cigar ad
Good old days
An ad in The Illustrated Australian News, 1881
Image: clotho98

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with Anu Garg

They have found a cure for cancer. And diabetes and heart disease and AIDS. If you haven’t heard about them, it’s only because no one cared enough to forward you these cures they themselves received in a forwarded email, in a WhatsApp message, or on Facebook.

When I receive such messages I try to tell the sender that when they find a cure for cancer you’ll hear about it on the front page of The New York Times (or in the most-respected newspaper around you), not in a forwarded email.

No, fasting is not going to cure anyone of cancer. Drinking two glasses of water first thing in the morning is not a cure of diabetes. Taking papaya leaf juice is not a cure for AIDS. And, no, there’s no pharma conspiracy to suppress these magic cures.

But sometimes it feels that, while everyone else is trying to save humanity by sharing these easy remedies, I’m the official naysayer in the room. It’s sisyphean. It’s tiring. So I propose the following as the first law of the Internet:

Garg’s Law: Do not forward anything you’ve received online without verifying it yourself.

I suggest ISPs require new customers to sign and date (in front of two witnesses) that they agree with the law before they can get online. First violation would mean one has to be off the Net for a week. Second violation: a month. Three strikes and you’re out.

Until that happens (and until they find a cure for the common cold), enjoy this week’s five words related to medicine.


(an-tee-TUHS-iv, an-ty-)

adjective: Suppressing or relieving coughing.
noun: Something that suppresses or relieves coughing.

From Latin anti- (against) + tussis (cough). Earliest documented use: 1909.

“She kept complaining of a cough and said that the usual antitussives ... did not help her.”
Elaine Myrie-Richards; What’s New, Doc?; iUniverse; 2010.

See more usage examples of antitussive in Vocabulary.com’s dictionary.

No amount of belief makes something a fact. -James Randi, magician and skeptic (b. 7 Aug 1928)

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