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Referring to inoculations as jabs

(33 Posts)
Eleanorre Mon 22-Apr-13 12:30:55

Every time I hear about the measles epidemic and the reporter talks about getting '' the jab '' it makes my blood boil . How sloppy this reporting is and I hate it. Anyone agree ?

Bags Mon 22-Apr-13 12:39:20

When I was a child they were called "pricks" at my school. Jab is quite an improvement.

Elegran Mon 22-Apr-13 12:45:23

My old dentist used to murmer as he injected anaesthetic "Just a little prick!"

In retrospect, I think it was intentional - he also used to tell improper jokes to my MIL (who repeated them to me and was part amused, part scandalised) and he tended to lean on my shoulder a lot when bending over me with the drill.

cathy Mon 22-Apr-13 12:47:14

Bags grin that was funny!!

soop Mon 22-Apr-13 13:06:07

In our surgery, it's "just a wee scratch..."

Talking of dentists...when I was a child, way back in the 40s, Mr Phillips used a foot controlled drill. He also had a stammer. I often wondered whether the juddering of the drill was to blame.

gracesmum Mon 22-Apr-13 13:14:40

I don't see any problem with referring to them as "jabs" it saves all that wondering about one or two "n"s or is it one or two "c"s!! Oh, that's vaccination my spell checker tells me. blush
Used to be jags anyway when I was a child in Scotland.

soop Mon 22-Apr-13 13:19:13

That's true, gracesmum

Bags Mon 22-Apr-13 13:19:42

Jab is easier to say, like many 'informal' words. There's no reason a reporter should be formal about measles jabs that I can see. So long as the information conveyed is correct it's fine by me for reporters to use common or garden tree-climbing words rather than formal, best-dressed long ones.

Elegran Mon 22-Apr-13 13:36:41

In some cases it is not correct - the immunisation is mostly done by an injection but also with a scratch or (for polio) on a sugar-cube. Or is the sugar now seen as almost as bad as the disease immunised against?

But I think jab is now taken as a synonym for any immunisation or vaccination.

janeainsworth Mon 22-Apr-13 13:36:57

I think 'jab' has very negative connotations for the many people who have needle phobia.
Inoculation is much more positive.
Journalists love to stir people's very real fears up in this way. angry

Bags Mon 22-Apr-13 13:44:54

But the MMR vaccine is given as an injection. Everyone knows a jab is an injection. Inoculation can be otherwise, as elegran points out.

I understand what you're saying about needle phobia, jane, but does calling an injection a jab really make a difference to needle-phobic people?

Florence56 Mon 22-Apr-13 15:04:55

Jab is usefull enough word - otherwise you have to be very careful not to get innoculation, immunisation and vaccination muddled. Some clever medical type will know all details, we just need to know whether a needle is involved.

Galen Mon 22-Apr-13 15:32:40

Jab were my initials before I marriedhmm

janeainsworth Mon 22-Apr-13 16:31:38

Bags In my experience, yes it does. Using the right words and avoiding the wrong ones really helps smile

Bags Mon 22-Apr-13 16:40:32

OK, jane. You will have come across more needle phobia than I ever will. Is injection acceptable to a needle-phobe?

Bags Mon 22-Apr-13 17:22:29

However, I wonder if the reporters the OP talks about as using the word 'jab', which she regards as sloppy and which I regard as merely informal, are really using it out of unkindness to needle phobic people, or whether they are just being informal/sloppy. Without hearing/reading the original mentions in the news media, I'm not prepared to label this usage of 'jab' for injection as anything worse than the informality of everyday-speak.

annodomini Mon 22-Apr-13 17:23:40

'Vaccination' originally applied only to smallpox immunisation, but by extension is now used for all kinds of immunisation. In Scotland, as G'mum says they were universally referred to as 'jags'.

janeainsworth Mon 22-Apr-13 17:50:00

Bags I went to great lengths, performing verbal acrobatics almost, to avoid the i-word too grin

janeainsworth Mon 22-Apr-13 18:02:20

Bags why do you think that programmes or news items about dentistry are always preceded by footage of whirring dental handpieces making ghastly screeching noises and descending into someone's mouth?
Of course journalists like to stir up fear or antagonism - that's how they get people to take notice of their articles by engaging people's emotions.
No one would buy any newspapers or watch any television if all there was to read or watch was of the 'Not Many Dead' variety.
I was listening to an item on radio 4 about the children getting their MMR jabs - the reporter was desperately trying to get a young lad to admit he was frightened, but the boy stubbornly insisted he was 'cool' about it grin

feetlebaum Mon 22-Apr-13 18:06:24

'Vaccination' comes from the Latin 'vacca' = cow. If you remember, it was cow-pox that was originally used to immunise someone Against small-pox.

Forzanonna Mon 22-Apr-13 19:38:47

I agree Eleanorre - annoys me to - I think the news should use "proper English"

Bags Mon 22-Apr-13 21:02:36

I'm not sure I've ever watched a programme about dentistry, jane! Perhaps that explains my ignorance smile. Not likely to either as we have no TV.

Bags Mon 22-Apr-13 21:03:03

But, yes, I do know a lot of people are terrified of the dentist.

Bags Mon 22-Apr-13 21:03:35

Or rather, of dentistry.

I'm going to stop digging this hole now wink

janeainsworth Mon 22-Apr-13 21:26:32

Bags grin