Sunday, September 12, 2010

The label matters

For the last years, I have been struggling finding the right name for the chemical substances that people swallow in the form of pills in order to change some aspects of their body or behaviors and experiences.
Yes, I am talking about drugs, pharmaceutical drugs, medication, medicine, active compounds, and many more.

What is the right word to use? I used to write drugs, because that's the shortest and many use this word. But of course drugs are mostly used in the context of illegal drugs and not as pharmaceutical drugs, and have a negative connotation. Jerry Maguire told me once that he doesn't like the word drugs, and that I should rather use the word medication. However, even though I am using it often, mostly when I am talking about the search for stuttering medication, I am very reluctant to use the word for trials, because these chemical compounds have not been proven to be a good medicine or medication for stuttering.

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