Thursday, September 05, 2013

superstition is here to stay...

i ought to be more careful with my choice of words.....

me : ok, we've arranged for your surgery to be done asap. it's time to go now.

patient : doctor, don't say, "it's time to go."

that's when i realised my mistake. for the superstitious traditionalist, "time to go" means going to one's death & that's a no-no, even though the ghost month (when the spirits are released from hell) officially ended yesterday.

i promptly apologised & rephrased that the nurse will send her to the OT soon.

and the surgery went thru smoothly.



Tempus said...

currently used a wrong term with the lover and we almost got into a fight too.

words, very sensitive.

doc said...


with the lover, names become crucial as well. DON'T, I repeat, DON'T ever call out the wrong name at moment.

this reminds me of that hilarious episode of Friends when Ross inadvertently mentioned Rachel's name as he was reciting the marriage vow to Emily.

Yan said...

Yes, even with what to give. We had a journalist who asked for a transfer to a smaller town where she could stay with her mum. Colleagues gave her a "clock" (in Chinese it's Zhong). She met in a road accident and died on her first day of work in the town. So, people started saying what a gift to give. In Chinese, it's "soon zhong" (soon is "give", "soon zhong" is "sending a person off eternally). But we well know who's in control.

doc said...


I agree on who's in control but we still need to be sensitive to the feelings/beliefs of others.

I was given a clock as a house warming gift 13 years ago & it still hangs proudly in the dining hall.