retinitis pigmentosum love

retinitis pigmentosum


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  • "'I can see nothing but light,' she explained. 'I canna make out objects at all. Still, the light of the sun causes me pain, so I must shield my eyes when venturing out....'

    That answered some of my speculations concerning her blindness, though didn't entirely assuage them. Retinitis pigmentosum? I wondered with interest, as I followed her...."

    —Diana Gabaldon, Drums of Autumn (NY: Dell, 1997), 182

    January 19, 2010

  • Should be "retinitis pigmentosa". Maybe Gabaldon confused the spelling with "xeroderma pigmentosum"?

    January 19, 2010

  • Dunno. I prefer to think it's because the character is a physician but not an ophthalmologist.

    January 19, 2010

  • As I recall from my eyeball editing days, this is a valid variation of retinitis pigmentosa--although not used frequently these days.

    January 20, 2010

  • Whose eyeballs needed editing?

    January 20, 2010

  • Oh. Yet again I'm reminded to explain that this series involves people (well, one person really) time-traveling from 1940s Britain to 1740s Scotland and France to 1940s-50s-60s Boston to 1760s Scotland, Indies, and Carolina backcountry.... That might explain some of the weirdnesses of language. Or maybe not.

    January 20, 2010

  • Why, everyone's eyeballs need editing, bilby. Haven't you had yours done?

    Chained: Aha! That explains my confusion over some of the excerpts you've posted.

    January 20, 2010

  • "I canna make out objects at all. Still, the light of the sun causes me pain, so I must shield my eyes when venturing out...."

    Hoots mon, och aye! There needs should be a moratorium on the use of cliches like "canna" by lazy authors trying to establish their Highland cred.

    January 20, 2010

  • I don't know about that, sionnach. This whole series, as I said, takes place mostly in the Highlands or among Highlanders in the 1700s. Where Glaswegians, French, or people of other groups/accents appear, these "flavor" words are sprinkled throughout their speech. I find it helpful to identify who's talking at any given time, in addition to helping me hear the "music" of the accents.

    I'd also argue this author isn't that lazy, as she uses Scots Gaelic words and phrases all over the place too. What exactly do you mean by "Highland cred"? Does one have to be brought up in the accent in order to write a character who speaks with it? That hardly seems fair.

    Moreover, the list isn't a valid representation of her writing, since these bits I've been adding are the ones (naturally) that contain weird words, Scots slang, etc.

    January 21, 2010

  • "Valid variation"? Not in Latin or medical English. Words ending in -itis are feminine, so the adjective should be in feminine form. Compare *itis *osa and *itis *osum* on Onelook. Words ending in -derma are neuter, hence the -um ending with "xeroderma pigmentosum".

    January 21, 2010