Ejercicio de periódicos: tercer cuarto, #1

Periódico 1

Este es El Economista, de México. Tiene diez secciones, como ValoresTus FinanzasEmpresasPolíticaInternacional, y Tecnología.

Periódico 2

Este es Granma, el periódico oficial de Cuba.

Un artículo que me llamó la atención es “Chávez está en plenitud de facultades intelectuales“. Es posible que el artículo diga la verdad completa, pero me dudo. Al principio, usa un registro muy alto (formal)—”plenitud”, “facultades”, etc. Y también es muy corto. Finalmente, no hay prueba—ni nada concreta ni una foto.

El artículo dice que Chávez está bien. Mejora cada día; ya no sabemos de que está recuperando… Él desempeña sus deberes como presidente de Venezuela… o algo. No se trata con la salud física de Chávez.

Periódico 3

Este es El Mundo, de Venezuela. Hay sección para Petróleo. Es muy interesante. Nada periódico en los Estados Unidos—o en la mayoría de países—tiene sección para solo petróleo. Dice a la importáncia de ello para el país.

A possible upper bound on the historical extent of Lord Hunsdon his Genitive

A link to Joe Miller’s Jests has been on my “Links” page for some time now. I found it interesting for its contents, yes, but also its title page:


Its use of the normal apostrophe-s genitive basically puts an upper bound on the extent of Lord Hunsdon his Genitive; the publication date, MDCCXXXIX, corresponds to 1739. (Note that since the Lord Hunsdon his Genitive co-existed with the normal –‘s genitive, this doesn’t put a firm upper bound on its usage, although it indicates that it was probably out of style.)

The earliest known (to us) use of the construction is in the original: the 1597 title page to Romeo and Juliet.

The task now is to search for a usage of the Lord Hunsdon his Genitive between this and the last known usage, in 1672.

Also, “the Wits Vade-Mecum” is a wonderfully archaic phrase.

Drug names

DEREK LOWE has a chemistry blog which I follow for the section “Things I Won’t Work With”, which contains the funniest and most dramatic chemistry writing I’ve ever come across.

But outside of this section, he recently wrote an article on drug names, “Time to Refill Your Prescription For Zxygjfb“. In it he examines a reader comment how drug (trade) names appear to have gotten more nonsensical lately:

I have a list below comparing trade names from 2004 to those from the past year or so.

2004:    Vidaza;   Avastin;  Sensipar;  Cymbalta;   Tarceva;   Certican;   Factive;   Sinseron;   Alimta;  Lyrica;  Exanta

2012:   Fulyzaq;  Bosulif;  Xeljanz;  Myrbetriq;  Juxtapid;  Iclusig;  Fycompa;  Zelboraf;   Xalkori;  Jakafi;  Pixuvri

The current theory is that 1] the FDA has requested this, to make it easier to read drug names in messy handwriting (all the Xs and Zs add valuable pen strokes, apparently increasing readability—an interesting psycholinguistic concept all by itself) and 2] these drugs are mostly cancer drugs, which aren’t marketed directly to consumers (obviously) and so don’t need to be catchy.

The post also answers a long-standing question of mine, which is where the generic names for drugs comes from. The answer is that generic drug names, formally called “United States Adopted Names”, are assigned by the United States Adopted Name Council (USAN Council), a partnership of the American Medical Association (AMA), American Pharmacists Association, and the United States Pharmacopeial Convention (publishers of the USP). The names are chosen more or less on the basis of chemical structure, although they are by no means systematic (the IUPAC systematic names for these drugs must be horrendous). Per Lowe:

the generic name [of Xgeva] is denosumab. That’s a good ol’ USAN name, with the “-mab” suffix telling you that it’s a monoclonal antibody.

He goes on to point out that it’s marketed as a bone cancer drug under the name of Xgeva, but as Prolia to treat postmenopausal bone loss, evidence for hypothesis [2] above.


The comments on the post are also well worth reading.