Monday, August 4, 2014

Dysphagia

The word dysphagia means difficulty swallowing, which is something I deal with a lot in my work. One problem I've had lately how to pronounce it.

Until I started working at my current job, I always pronounced the first "a" as a long vowel sound. Dysphay-gia. But for some reason, everyone here pronounces it as an "ah" sound. Dysphah-gia.

After looking it up, I felt that I was correct and everybody else was wrong. So I persisted in pronouncing it the same way. But strangely enough, nobody knew what I was talking about. Even the dictation system was interpreting the word as "dysphasia." When I was having a conversation with a neurologist, a very brilliant person, he actually didn't know what I was talking about when I used my usual pronunciation. He looked at me, baffled, and said, "Do you mean dysphah-gia?"

I'm still convinced that I'm right. But I've given up, and started pronouncing it the wrong way.

24 comments:

  1. You're right. That's how we pronounce it in Australia.

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    1. Ditto. I would find it hard to keep a straight face if someone said "dysPHAHgia", it sounds ridiculous!

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  2. Fizz you might be using the british pronunciation because that's how we say it here too

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  3. When I worked in a hotel, a ton of people insisted on pronouncing the word concierge as con-see-air, without pronouncing that awesome ZH sound at the end. My main way of indicating they were wrong was to pronounce it correctly around them, especially if they'd just said it wrong. Never worked -- they just looked at me like I didn't know how to pronounce it. I think they thought they were saying it in some sort of highfalutin' fancy way. But really, how much fancier can you get than the proper French pronunciation??

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  4. I think you're right too, and in South Africa we actually use the ah-sound a lot. (For example, "can't" pronounced as "cah-n't"). I've never heard anyone pronounce dysphagia with the ah-sound.

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  5. We pronounce it with the -ay sound in the South.

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  6. You are right!!!! Stick to your guns and keep saying it right. One of these days you'll say it "wrong" to someone else who knows the correct pronunciation and then you'll fall into the "people who say it wrong" pile. Nobody wants that. Especially when you know darn well you are right! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VnJToE6fuK8

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  7. I feel the same about the word "duodenum." Is it "Due-O-dee-num" or "Due-wad-num?" Never knew which is the right one.

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  8. You are right. I attend a top medical school in California, and we pronounce it the way you do. I never knew there was another way to pronounce it? haha.

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  9. What? No way. You're saying it right, I've never even heard it the other way! https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=jK1o3LSQmB0

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  10. Are you sure this isn't being confused with dysphasia, when you have trouble talking?

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    1. Actually dysphasia is a really outdated term that shouldn't be used any more.

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  11. You have ended your anonymity as a blogger. Your that skinny female physiatrist with the curly hair at the hospital where none of the doctors pronounce dysphagia correctly.

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  12. Trained at a top rehab hospital -- heard a mix of both pronunciations from various attendings, but most pronounced it dysPHAYgia.

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  13. Ar-Kan-Sans say dysPHAY-gia like you.

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  14. On the east coast -- dysPHAYgia

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  15. My med terminolgy book claims that both pronoujnciations are acceptable. To-MAY-to, to-MAH-to, y'know?

    /then again, to-MAH-to sounds just plain wrong.

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  16. You are right! Reminds me of a hospital where I worked that pronounced centimeters as "sontometers." I seriously was getting confused at this different measurement system that I didn't know about.

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  17. it's - ah - in Germany. but that's probably not helpful.

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  18. When I worked in IL, everyone pronounced MRSA as "mer-sah." When I moved to CA, I naturally did the same thing, but everyone looked at me like I had 3 heads. They all say "M R S A" here.

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  19. I pronounce it like you do :X Everyone here does, but then, this is New Zealand, and a lot of things get pronounced strangely. Like as another commenter pointed out, the whole "duo-DEE-num" business.

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  20. Can no one see why people are mispronouncing it? It's because the dictation system doesn't get dysphaygia, but gets dysphagia! Might as well get used to pronouncing it the wrong way so that when you dictate, you don't say dysphaygia and then it misunderstands it as dysphasia.

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