Spoken Cancerese

Cancerland has two official languages:  The first, Cancerese, is spoken mostly by those who come of their own accord to Cancerland, to treat and otherwise serve all the many here against their will.  Cancerese is an English-based patois, liberally laced with Medispeak, a Latinate jargon for things only doctors and nurses ever need to name or discuss: creatine, squamous cells,  basal lamina, et al.  Cancerese is largely comprehensible to speakers of standard English, with the caveat that sometimes standard-English-speakers believe they understand what’s just been said to them in Cancerese but don’t really.  For instance, “positive” test results are bad news, despite the fact that, in everyday English, the “positive”  condition or state is a good thing.

The second official language of Cancerland is Bullshit.  This language, also English-based, is spoken almost exclusively by impressed Cancerlanders, meaning impressed in the archaic sense of compelled, as in compelled to do military service.   Bullshit, in other words, is the lingua franca of those who have been carted off to Cancerland kicking and screaming.

In this respect, it  is important to know that topics decidedly not considered appropriate for discussion in standard English, or even in Cancerese, are considered appropriate in Bullshit.  Much chin-music is made, for instance, about bowel movements — and the talk is richly descriptive, graphically specifying  size, shape, color, consistency and, especially, the schedule on which bowel movements arrive, whether too soon, too late, once in a goddamned blue moon,when the cows come home, etc.

Another popular subject of discussion in Bullshit is tumor size, for which the language has a most colorful scale.  There are tumors the size of an egg, tumors the size of a grapefruit, tumors the size of a basketball, and so on.

As for why the language itself is called Bullshit, that is a nod to the nature of the stories it is commonly used to tell, as in, for instance, the one about the friend of a friend of a friend who survived the surgical removal of a tumor the size of a Volkswagen Passat.

Published in: on March 11, 2010 at 6:58 pm  Comments (4)  

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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. The language of Bullshit, is frequently spoken even after leaving Cancerland but, never fully understood in the Healthy United States.

    It can often causes hasty departures, increase speeds while driving and visits to new places, as it is capable of discharging rapidly and with no warning.

    We have, developed a form of bullshit sign language which is used when outside the comforts of our home. My responsibility, once the alarm is sounded, is to run interference, clear the path, and wait.

    When at home I’m often forced to dribble dry! (As we have but one bullshit room)

    But, life is good when there is bullshit. It’s the no-shit we worry about.

    Thoughts and prayers!


  2. BS is one of many languages spoken. And in some cases it the only language that some people only speak. Your post brings enlightenment to how BS is used.

    All the Best,


  3. these continue to be terrific Peter– have at it. m

  4. Thank you for such a well written blog. I have forwarded your link to others in our cancerland. Thank you for sharing your blog with the world.

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