Southern Thing Column

If Southerners named pharmaceuticals

In case you missed it, below is a brief excerpt from a recent column on It’s a Southern Thing. Click here to go to the full column on SouthernThing.com now.

If you’re like me and you’ve watched way too much TV lately, you’ve likely wondered: Who in the name of sweet buttered corn is in charge of naming pharmaceuticals like Movantick, Xeljanz, Xenical, Zestril, Farxiga, Trazadone and Levoxyl.

I imagine a group of toddlers randomly pulling letters from a Scrabble bag and arranging them on a table – only someone adds extra Zs and Xs and Vs to the bag because those are required in higher quantities for drug names. It’s an FDA law … I’m pretty sure.

The task may as well have been left up to celebrities, who are known for their creativity when naming offspring, so we could have fun drugs named “Petal Blossom Rainbow,” “Lazer” (it has the requisite Z) and “Moon Unit.” (That last one would be a suppository … I’m guessing).

Why can’t the companies just name drugs something more reasonable and easier to pronounce, like Doris, Fred or Winona? Orrrr, now this is a brilliant idea, let Southerners name pharmaceuticals. We are a common-sense people with homespun philosophies. We could probably dispense with Xs and Zs altogether, making it much easier to discuss our health needs with the pharmacist.

Here are some examples of names Southerners would choose:

Cattywampus.

Feeling dizzy? Walking a little wonky? Perhaps you have vertigo. Take a couple of cattywampuses and go to bed.

Grannies.

These pills ease your mind so you can sleep peacefully through the night. Side effects include weight gain, the sensation of being hugged and olfactory hallucinations like the smell sheets fresh from the clothesline. Click here to read the full column on It’s a Southern Thing.

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