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Linguistic carelessness in TV dramas

Historical TV dramas usually go out of their way to strive for authenticity in visual matters (dress and so on) but are often surprisingly careless of the turns of phrase the characters use. I frequently find myself muttering "We never said that in the 1960s!". Lapses of this kind make me grind my teeth in the same way as would seeing someone in an Elizabethan drama wearing a wristwatch.

Medical soaps commit a different kind of linguistic solecism by mispronouncing medical phrases. They go out of their way to try to sound authentic by referring to procedures by their acronyms (often to the bafflement of the audience, I suspect), but then they come up with something like "cardiomegAly", with the stress on the A. I've never heard anyone say that in hospital (although, admittedly, it's nearer to the modern Greek!).

Another version of this, which is perhaps more understandable, concerns the acronym CABG (coronary artery bypass graft). This is referred to in standard medical-speak as CABBAGE, but the characters in the soap always spell it out: C-A-B-G. I suspect this is because they are afraid it would sound too frivolous if they called it CABBAGE.


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