Sunday, September 9, 2007

Misplaced Literary Aspirations

Throughout the 15 years that I reviewed opera, I was introduced to many doctors, lawyers, dentists, and accountants who wished they had more opportunities to express themselves artistically. The most extreme example of this was the internal medicine specialist who dictated:

"The patient arrived with death sitting
on her shoulder....."

When I asked this physician why he felt a need to be so flowery in his dictation, his eyes glazed over as he confessed that he was struggling to find a way to express himself in his work!

Dictating reports requires physicians to transmit information in a logical and coherent manner. It is not about creating art.

Next: Conversational Versus Written Language Styles

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