Thursday, February 11, 2010

A Personal Pet Peeve

I've got lots and lots of pet peeves, but there's one commercial that is really pushing my "set the GunDiva off" button.  I don't even remember the name of the medication because I'm in such a blind fury by the time they get around to saying the name that it just doesn't register.  Don't judge - everyone has pet peeves that set them right the eff off.

A little lesson in the difference between a sign and a symptom.  A sign is, essentially, anything quantifiable; anything that can be seen or measured.  A symptom, on the other hand, is anything that the patient feels or reports.  To clarify: if a patient complains of sinus pain and green boogers, the symptom (what the patient feels) is sinus pain, the sign (what can be seen or measured) is green boogers.  One more example: a patient complains of nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.  The patient has one symptom, nausea, and two signs, vomiting and diarrhea. 

Pretty simple, right? 

One would think that advertising agencies could figure that out and quit advertising that their cold medication alleviates the signs of a common cold such as headache, stuffiness, and sinus pressure.

Those of us in the know - you now included - know that their cold medication alleviates the symptoms of a common cold.

And that seemingly small thing drives me absolutely, completely batshit.  Just ask my students.

6 comments:

Allenspark Lodge said...

This shall now e known as Gundiva's "sign post".
Bill
(I probably didn't even need to sign this one)

Allenspark Lodge said...

Oops, I left the "b" off of "be", must be a symptom of my lack of early morning mental agility...er... sign?
Bill

Menopausal New Mom said...

Funny how the little things can get us going! Yes, Symptoms you guys, not Signs! That's if the product actually works at all, I've yet to find any medication that helps with the misery of the common cold!

T!nK said...

so a bloody nose is a sympton, and a headache is a sign, right?!

just kidding :-P

my pet peeve is followthrough. I HATE when ppl say that they are going to do something and don't. AKA, love me as long as they're alive, and then don't. According to me: that gives me the right to kill them, no?

tattytiara said...

But symptom sounds more medical-ey, and the more medical-ey the ad sounds, the better the product is.

GunDiva said...

tattytiara, you are so right! I hadn't thought of that.