‘Say ahh’ by Kathy Diebels

Pant pant, folks!

Rush post with a HUU-GE word today! Last Friday’s selection by A.Word.A.Day. is truly a ‘big thing’ in the sense that it is very, very long combining as many as four roots at a time!  It’s not a rare word, just a bit annoying, at least to me, since it’s related to a branch of medicine I literally hate(d). Why? Explanation follows.


noun: The branch of medicine dealing with the ear, nose, and throat. Also known as otolaryngology.
The word is coined so that one is forced to use all three — ear, nose, and throat — to be able to pronounce it. Either that, or it’s from Greek oto- (ear) + rhino- (nose) + laryngo- (larynx) + -logy (study). Earliest documented use: 1900. Also see, rhinorrhea.
“Pete Colangelo, chief of otorhinolaryngology, hunched in front of Ellen Sandler, peering through the center hole of his head mirror at a hyperilluminated spot far within her left nostril.”
Michael Palmer; Side Effects; Bantam; 1985.
Italian translation: Otorinolaringoiatria (as you can see, though sharing most of English word, our equivalent ends with a different root)
EXPLANATION: Once upon a long ago two naughty tonsils used to live inside the throat of a young girl somewhere in Southern Italy. They were two real urchins (we would say scugnizzi)  and a bit quarrelsome, they inflamed really often for stupid reasons causing not few problems to their host. Their naughty behaviour compelled the young girl to be visited by an unpronounceable doctor over and over again in order to keep them quiet but, in spite of all the sound scolds (and threats of a possible expulsion as well) they received, they did not stop harassing the young girl. As time passed by, though, the girls grew up and they grew old and one fine day they decided to retire for good. They are now enjoying the peace of their hideaway … so hidden away that now the unpronounceable doctor cannot even locate them!
I hope you had some fun with this little children story. I did not when I was a young girl and today I still remember the many visits to that ‘unpronounceable doctor’. Wouldn’t you find it annoying too if you were in my shoes?
Your passionate (Italian) Translator
P.S.: Riddle this: where’s the music in this post? I can assure there’s a hint to music, you may not perceive it, but it’s somewhere between the lines …
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