Today I had to fill out an official, pre-printed form for a federal agency, which read in part:“ARE YOU NOW, OR HAVE YOU EVER BEEN, INVOLVED IN ADMINISTRATIVE, PROFESSIONAL, OR JUDICIAL PROCEEDINGS IN WHICH MALPRACTICE ON YUR PART IS OR WAS ALLEGED?”
No kidding—the U.S. Government now spells “your” without an “o”. Sounds like Texas? Perhaps not a coincidence.
Anyway, this question always cracks me up, because it reminds me of the inane military forms in “Alice’s Restaurant” (and also, less humorously, of the McCarthy hearings). Unfortunately, though, it is a standard query on doctor paperwork every time you apply for anything. If just once, thirty years ago, a patient sued you for, oh, let’s say, waking her up too early in the morning
—well then, for the rest of your career you have to answer “YES, I’VE BEEN SUED” to this question every time it comes around on the guitar, and endure all the additional questions and investigations that will result.
What would be much more useful is a form for applicants to administrative and bureaucratic positions. It would read:“ARE YOU NOW, OR HAVE YOU EVER BEEN, INVOLVED IN ADMINISTRATIVE, PROFESSIONAL, OR JUDICIAL PROCEEDINGS IN WHICH POOR GRAMMAR OR POOR SPELLING ON YUR PART IS OR WAS ALLEGED?”