Monday, July 6, 2009

Three syndromes that caught my fancy


This is my second post on the English language but that does not mean that I am a pro in this language. But language like habit keeps growing on oneself over the period of time and we keep plucking and storing an odd phrase, word or a sentence. Following are three syndromes that are not so medical and did catch my fancy and would like to share with all who are interested.
Emperor's New Clothes syndrome: An emperor of a prosperous city who cares more about clothes than military pursuits or entertainment hires two swindlers who promise him the finest suit of clothes from the most beautiful cloth. This cloth, they tell him, is invisible to anyone who was either stupid or unfit for his position. The Emperor cannot see the (non-existent) cloth, but pretends that he can for fear of appearing stupid; his ministers do the same. When the swindlers report that the suit is finished, they dress him in mime. The Emperor then goes on a procession through the capital showing off his new "clothes". During the course of the procession, a small child cries out, "But he has nothing on!" The crowd realizes the child is telling the truth. The Emperor, however, holds his head high and continues the procession. The Emperor's New Clothes is now synonymous to the governmental head not reacting to public outcry about controversial state agreements and treaties.

Stockholm syndrome: The name refers to a psychological response sometimes seen in abducted hostages, in which the hostage shows signs of loyalty to the hostage-taker, regardless of the danger or risk in which they have been placed. The syndrome is named after the Norrmalmstorg robbery of Kreditbanken at Norrmalmstorg in Stockholm, in which the bank robbers held bank employees hostage from August 23 to August 28 in 1973. In this case, the victims became emotionally attached to their victimizers, and even defended their captors after they were freed from their six-day ordeal. The term "Stockholm Syndrome" was coined by the criminologist and psychiatrist Nils Bejerot, who assisted the police during the robbery, and referred to the syndrome in a news broadcast.

China syndrome: The name refers to the idea of the nuclear material burning a hole from the United States to 'the other side of the world', i.e., China. Despite several meltdowns in both civilian and military reactors, such an extreme meltdown has never taken place. China is a metaphor, as the opposite side of the globe from the USA is actually the Indian Ocean. In 1971, nuclear physicist Ralph Lapp used the term "China syndrome" to describe the burn-through of the reactor vessel, the penetration of the concrete below it, and the emergence of a mass of hot fuel into the soil below the reactor. He based his statements on the report of a task force of nuclear physicists headed by Dr. W.K. Ergen, published in 1967.The dangers of such a hypothetical accident were publicized by the 1979 film, The China Syndrome.
Please share with me if you have another of such interesting syndromes. It would be great to hear how you feel about this .

I have borrowed the image from the internet.

3 comments:

  1. Image is nice and yes the post is another hit!!

    Keep up the good work!!

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  2. had heard of the stockholm syndrome. great post as usual, cannot add to it am afraid.

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  3. Swatantra,
    Thank you for your encouragement.
    Sujata,
    thanks for coming over. Yes we have heard the story of the emperor's clothes as kids .. but that was the Birbal version.
    The China syndrome is quite freaky

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