Reader uses a little Shakespeare to make a point

May 1, 1998
Dentist 1: Did you notice the amount of "double-speak" and gobbledegook in the last issue of Dental Economics?

The theatrical flair is intentional, but serves no useful purpose.

Dentist 1: Did you notice the amount of "double-speak" and gobbledegook in the last issue of Dental Economics?

Dentist 2: (gasps with shock) Dental Economics?

Dentist 1: Yes! First we have a "Viewpoint" in which a dentist states that it is essential that we give our patients more freedom of choice. This is accomplished, he says, by refusing to place amalgam restorations and thereby limiting your patients` options to more expensive alternatives.

Dentist 2: (gasps with shock again) But amalgam restorations in properly selected cases are safe, cost-effective and can provide many years of excellent service. By not offering this service, you are limiting your patients` freedom of choice, not increasing it!

Dentist 1: Ah! You are too hung up on the idea that language should make sense. You need to read the three installments of the practice-management advice of W. E. Deming.

Dentist 2: (looking at the ground sheepishly) I did, but I must confess I didn`t understand a word of it.

Dentist 1: Well, perhaps you need to buy the CD, spend a few all-nighters studying (as suggested in the article) and take a course or two in Deming-speak. Then, you, too, could learn to communicate in phrases such as "Your aim would be to create such an office environment system through optimization in your management philosophy as a foundation" or "You need to develop profound knowledge about managing the process and constantly shrink variation in the common causes found within your system..."

Dentist 2: (chuckling) Speaking of gobbledegook, why did you write this letter in this ridiculous play form?

Dentist 1: I thought it might get my letter published. The editors seem to like this sort of thing.

Jay S. Cohen, DMD, MS, MEd

Allentown, PA

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