The importance of semantics

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Posted by Todd ( on March 25, 2000 at 20:20:43:

Each of us here has our own level of verbal fluency and our own sense of the importance of semantic accuracy. This is one of the things that makes human interaction so much fun. If Steinbeck wrote like Clements who wrote like Shakespear who wrote like Chaucer, they'd all sound alike.

On the other hand, when discussing a technical issue (like medical conditions), a degree of specificity and accuracy seems in order.

Conventional medical 'wisdom' (which certainly doesn't mean it's correct) holds that clusters rarely ever exceed 2 hours in duration. NOTE: I said clusters, not shadows. I have never seen the shadows that we deal with addressed in any of the medical literature I've read.

If you have suffered a 6 or 7 or 18 hour unending cluster, then you have an experience which NEEDS to be related to the doctors who specialize in clusters, like Dr. Goadsby.

If you had a bad cluster preceeded and/or followed by a shadow, and you call this an 18 hour cluster, then you need to be more precise in your terminology.

If you actually have migraines, then you need to learn not to call them clusters.

This has nothing to do with either cluster- or semantic- elitism. It has to do with medical accuracy. With the singular exception of the PET scan identification of apparent excess gray matter in the hypothalmic region of clusterhead brains, EVERY bit of knowledge doctors have about clusters comes from the anecdotal evidence we present orally. Sloppy communication only hurts us all.


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