Friday, April 16, 2004

The Latest Case of Down Syndrome

At Wikipedia, there is a discussion about whether the main entry for a certain genetic mutation should be Down's Syndrome or Down Syndrome. I thought I'd look it up in the dictionaries to see what I could see. Webster's had only the former. Someone suggested that it might be a British English thing, so I pulled out my OED, condensed version, and popped it open to the Ds. It's in really small print.

So I plopped onto the floor, which all three dogs thought was great fun and they came leaping in to see what great game I was offering to play. Fending them off, I pulled out the super-duper magnifying glass that comes with the OED, set the volume on the floor, and leaned over it on my elbows. There were pages of Ds, including several (condensed) pages of "down". Trying to find all of the appropriate entries, I mumbled out loud to myself as I often do when I'm trying to concentrate. "Down," I mumbled, running a finger and the magnifying glass along the pages, "down....down...down...down..." I gradually became aware that the dogs had all slowly and quietly sunk into reclining positions around me. Well--they ARE well-trained dogs, right? Although Jake lay down, too, and he claims to be completely deaf. But he also claims to read lips. So who knows.

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