August 10, 2009

Communicating With the Dentist

After a visit to the dentist today, I had to wonder if "Interpreting Mumbling" is part of the required curriculum for a dentist?

With his fingers in my mouth, the dentist asks if everything is okay.
My response: Uh-huh.

A little while later, he asks if there is any pain.
My response: Uhn-uh.

These two phrases, uh-huh and uhn-uh, are so close to identical (especially when you are mumbling around fingers) that I often wonder how the dentist understands which one I said.

I think it would be hilarious to become a skilled ventriloquist, just for this occasion. Expecting to have to translate a mumbled answer, the dentist asks if there is any discomfort.
My response: The temperature of the room could be taken down a notch and that light is blinding me. Other than that, I'm doing just fine, Doc.