What’s in a word so often depends on its context, so imagine how much fun you can have introducing a contentious word into the roiling world of health care.
The longer the word is the better, because it turns out that words with few letters have the most definitions. The winner in this regard is ‘set,’ for which the Oxford English Dictionary reports 464 different definitions. Ironically, not a whole lot is actually set about this word until it has a setting. Second place for the most definitions is ‘run’ (396), while third goes to ‘go’ (368). On January 3, however, ‘parsimonious’ was added to an update of the American College of Physicians’ Ethics Manual and suddenly all hell is breaking loose. Get more on the burgeoning debate as we go “Under the Lense.”