Saturday, November 29, 2008

Gender reassignment

I have always been at ease with speaking English. In fact, I think in English too and thus always have to translate my thoughts to Malay when I converse. Please don't get me wrong, my Malay is not bad, I can speak and relay my thoughts in Malay effectively, it is just that the nature of my flow of thoughts, it works better in English.

But my English is not perfect. Now and then my friends would tease me for my improper grammar; I have a lot of friends who do speak almost perfect English *sigh*. However, at work, I am Mr Brown (remember 'Mind Your Language'?). Being doctors, one have no choice but to speak in English. There are so many medical terms and jargons that are not 'translatable'. I must say that many doctors attempt their best in speaking English but sometimes we really do have to get to basics.

It is especially annoying when a person cannot differentiate between male and female. He or she. His or her. Boy or girl. Sometimes it feels like a lucky draw..."and today the lucky word that will be used is 'HE'!!!!". And if it is just during a conversation is not as bad (though my ears were cringing at each mistake).

The worse thing is even in the written notes these mistakes were made. Mind you, I work in an IT hospital, each time you open a patient's record, flashed at the top the patient's name, registration number, age and SEX. And they still can make such mistakes. I had fits of laughter a few times I did medical reports for patients. Either the patients were transvestites and thus confusing my medical officers or the doctors were blind and deaf (lets not state the obvious :))

Therefore beware, you may come to the hospital a full fledged hot blooded male, but due to a value added service offered by the ministry of health, you may come out a lady/lady boy.