Word-of-the-month: efficacy (n.)

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Word-of-the-month

[Image credit: Arvind Balaraman]

When my daughter was over the other day during what has become a rare visit, I mentioned to her a talk I had with the pharmacist about the efficacy of an expired inhaler.  She gave me an odd look and repeated the word efficacy, at which time I asked if she knew what it meant.  She responded yes, but she’d never heard anyone use the word before.  Pronounced ˈe-fi-kə-sē, this noun means power or capacity to produce a desired effect; effectiveness.  Synonyms for efficacy include efficiency, competence, value, strength, usefulness, potency, productiveness and success.  A sample sentence other than the one I used above includes: Patients were concerned about the safety and efficacy of the season’s new flu vaccine.  Incidentally, when speaking with the pharmacist I learned that in the case of an inhaler, it’s more about the bacteria that can grow inside it following the expiration date versus the medication’s efficacy.

What is one thing in your life that has proven its efficacy time and time again?

Stepping on my soap box: the demise of the thank you

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[Image credit: David Castillo Dominici]

As a little girl, my mom taught me the value of a thank you.  Following each holiday, birthday, graduation or any other special occasion, you’d find me handwriting personal notes extending my appreciation.  My daughter learned early on that she didn’t get to play with or spend her gifts until a thank you was sent off.  For her it eventually became a habit and at almost 20, she still takes the time to handwrite her thanks (without prompting).  With the ease of communications today, however, I’m surprised to see less and less effort made to acknowledge a gift or kindness shown.  How hard is it to say thank you by text or email?  And why are so many parents neglecting to teach this common courtesy today?  Obviously, I must’ve been born in the dark ages when please and thank you were simply a given, but now is a thing of the past.  Although in my family, those two little words are still alive and well.  Thank you for listening.

Is there someone you need to thank today?