A Bit of Doggerel

Writing radiology reports all day and realizing that some poor fellow out there will have to read them, one can’t help but want to simplify things. That should mean shorter, more direct and specific words as well as shorter sentences, even fragments. But linguistic habits are hard to break. I find one phrase and word particularly annoying, namely, “osseous structures” and “osseous”, meaning “bones” or “bony” respectively.


Osseous Structures


My colleagues like the Latin word osseous,

Which I think sounds too ostentateous.

It seems quite preposeous to use that word osseous;

It makes me feel downright pomposseous.


I prefer the Germanic word bony,

Which sounds to my ear much less phony.


But diction is a sensitive matter,

We all prefer to hear flatter,

Pet words fill heads hegemoniously,

And criticism’s heard acrimoniously.

So this rhyme is meant only gently,

To suggest an edit more aptly,

Suited for reading more simply.


I persuaded me, and now perhaps thee,

But how to convince all and each crony?



Best Wishes.