I’ve got a big problem with MS.
Actually, I have a lot of problems with it. There’s one particular aspect on my mind at the moment, however. It’s a terrible, incurable, barely treatable disease. Even the name: “multiple sclerosis” sounds nasty. For most people, it would be bad enough to have one “sclerosis”. Having multiple scleroses?* You don’t even want to think about that.
But for the most part, we don’t call it multiple sclerosis. Too wordy, too hard to say, especially if you suffer from MS-induced aphasia. (Look that up in your Funk & Wagnall’s.) So we make it easy on ourselves and others by referring to it as, simply, “MS”.
I’ve got a problem with that.
Go ahead and Google MS. What do you get?
A software megacorp.
A feminist magazine.
Something about manuscripts.
An advanced science degree.
An article about mass spectroscopy.
A southern state.
An extremely small measure of time.
The airline code for Egypt Air. (Huh?)
A massive, sleazy financial services firm that took more than a hundred billion dollars of your tax money.
Yeah, you get multiple sclerosis, too, but it’s lost amidst a couple hundred other acronyms of questionable value – Marge Simpson’s initials??? – at least compared to the destructive illness that has ruined almost as many lives as Morgan Stanley.
My simple proposal? A new acronym, one that is at least a bit more unique than “MS”. Granted, this would wreak havoc with advertising, scientific literature, names of nonprofits, patients’ personal parlance, medical school curricula, and a host of other areas.
That’s a small price to pay to make my life a little easier.
I’m tired of people congratulating me for having MS. “Really? A Master Sommelier? What an amazing achievement!” That’s even worse than, “But you don’t look sick.”
What are the possibilities? I’ll nominate QZ, YV, and RKDGP to start. What do they have to do with multiple sclerosis? About as much as Markov Switching, Munchausen’s Syndrome, and Mortal Strike (“World of Warcraft” reference, or so I’m told).
You got a problem with that?
* Which prompts the question, why isn’t it called “multiple scleroses” since scleroses is the plural of sclerosis? Just wondering.