I couldn’t have made this up if I tried: About 15 minutes before the start of the clinic all-staff meeting last month, as our crew was gathering, one of the docs was venting about her changing role in the world of medicine. “I used to actually practice medicine,” she was saying, “You know, actually make people healthier. Now my job is to click. That’s my entire job description. Just to make sure everything gets clicked in the right place and right time.” To illustrate the point, she made mouse clicking gestures with her index finger.
She was complaining about the new burdens of electronic charting. The same ones I vented about in these pages a little while back.
“Well,” said one of my coworkers, helpfully, “I read yesterday that ‘click’ and ‘snap’ are now the two most commonly used words in the English language.”
The lady doc considered this for a moment, her finger still raised in the air, then replied dryly, “I don’t know which is more depressing: My new job description, or that tidbit of information.”
I suppressed a grin behind my coffee cup.
“What does ‘snap’ mean?” asked another staffer. “I’ve never heard it used before.”
There was an embarrassed silence as my peers struggled with the best way to define what’s apparently one of the two most commonly used words in the English language.
Being the resident wordsmith, I stepped into the void. It’s urban slang for ‘Oh shit,’ I said. The New American Oxford English Dictionary according to Wil.
It was about a week later that I arranged to take a test drive of Asante Solutions, Inc.’s new Snap insulin pump. Remembering the conversation about the word ‘snap,’ I wondered what bonehead would name his company’s new insulin pump the “Oh, Shit!” pump. Must’a got his MBA from Waterloo, Trafalgar, or Agincourt U.
Of course, if we delve deeper into the linguistics of snapism, we realize that, just like “oh, shit,” snap is nothing if not flexible. It can be used with a positive or a negative connotation. Consider:
Oh, snap! I left my wallet at the nudie bar. Not that I ever have.
Oh, snap! This is good whiskey! Not that I ever drink.
And often “snap” is used when making fun of oneself, not unlike Homer Simpson’s forehead-slap and “D’Oh!”
But back to the Snap pump. This being Asante’s opening bid on the American diabetes tech market, I can’t help but wonder, will investors end up saying, “Oh, Snap! I invested in Asante!” Or will they laugh all the way to the bank? Will the device take the diabetes world by storm, like the slang word it’s named after, or will it be another Homer Simpson moment in diabetes tech history?
I’ll let you know in a month, because I’m actually snapping away right now, as I write this, and I’ll keep snapping right on for the next thirty days. Yep. Welcome to another LifeAfterDx in-depth test drive. Over the next month, I’m going to post daily snapshots of life with Snap. At the end of that time, I’ll let you know just what kind of Oh, Snap! we have on our hands.
Tomorrow: What makes a Snap a snap