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[From Latin placebo (I shall please), from Latin placere (to please). What does placebo have in common with placid, plea, pleasant, or complacent? All derive from Latin placere and refer to the sense of being agreeable.]
"Pregnant women undergoing controversial Aids drug trials at the Chris
Hani Baragwanath Hospital are fully aware that they stand a one-in-four
chance of receiving a placebo."
"It could only have happened in the South, where good manners are
considered the highest form of virtue. The governor of Louisiana, Mike
Foster, has decided that children these days don't show enough respect
for their elders. His solution: pass a law to ban impoliteness. ...
A law about conduct is just a sorry placebo for a host of deeply-rooted
This week's theme: Words from medicine
Beware the fury of the patient man. -John Dryden, poet and dramatist (1631-1700)