Minerva Minerva


BMJ 2002; 324 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.324.7349.1344 (Published 01 June 2002) Cite this as: BMJ 2002;324:1344

The lack of “ownership” of ideas at a grass roots level may prove fatal to the delivery of the NHS Plan (the paper that maps out ways of modernising the NHS). In a pamphlet entitled Physician, Heal Thyself (May 2002; Spokeman Books for Socialist Renewal, Nottingham), the former chief training officer of the NHS, Duncan Smith, says that rather than imposing ideas in a top-down manner, what's needed is a means by which the wisdom and dedication of NHS staff can be used to carry out the necessary changes.

In common with many pet owners, Minerva often finds herself talking to her cat with the kind of language and pitch usually reserved for babies. One analysis identified that pitch and affective components are higher in baby and pet-directed speech than in adult communication. Babies are also subjected to exaggerated pronunciation of vowels. The authors say that we intuitively perceive the emotional and linguistic needs of our audience and adjust our use of language accordingly (Science 2002;296:1435).

Dieting is common among young women. Researchers observed from one correlation study of female college students that the frequency of dieting behaviours …

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