"Sex" is a Verb, not a Noun
“Why do we fill a form out by filling it in?” — ‘English is a crazy language’, Richard Lederer
I was at the doctor’s office. This was not my first time in a doctor’s office; but a first time at this doctor. So I was handed a clipboard with a stack of “questionaires” to complete. I have no objection to filling out these forms. It helps to pass the time you spend waiting to be seen (I have no interest in any of the magazines they typically stock in a doctor’s waiting room).
There were a few things about these forms, though, that – although not atypical – caused me to pause:
First, why is it that the area provided for address has a very short space for City and a much longer space for State? It has been a standard for years to use two-letter abbreviations for the state. Yet, there is never enough space for my long street address because the state has hogged most of the width of the page!!
And there are spaces that left me wondering what I should enter. Like sex. I was tempted to simply write, “I approve”. But then I realized this is not an opinon poll. This is pertinent information about me. So I wrote, “OFTEN”.
Then there was a field named Race. I assumed EVERYONE who entered this office would answer this the same way I did! Why ask a question when you already know the answer? But, for the sake of thorough consistency I entered my race: Human
I was struck by a realization of the irony behind the whole process of completing this form. My handwritten responses will be transcribed (and my penmanship is very poor) by the medical assistant there and entered into a computer application. With our obsession with technology gadgets (everyone is on their Blackberry talking or texting all day long) why can’t I simply bring the doctor a CD or thumbdrive that contains my medical history?
And, there is a much bigger question that ‘seriously’ bothers me. Once I got to meet with the doctor, my very first meeting where I expected him to carefully review my medical background, he made no comment about the answers I provided on the form; which he had in front of him!!
I guess for Race I should have written "5K dash"!