Reader John R. (who lists a comics site as his home page) weighed in on a recent post about "fetus vs. baby" terminology with a comment worth reprinting. The following fictitious exchanges, he writes, are "to prove that there is no such thing as common sense that even a child can articulate perfectly that some grown-up with a political agenda can't pervert!"
John R. writes:
"guess what grampa jim - mommy's got a baby in her tummy!" so it is - amen."
Not so fast...here's an alternative script, with Grampa Jim an avowed "technicalist" re "the fetus":
Little Girl: Guess what grampa jim - mommy's got a baby in her tummy!
Grampa Jim: Oh, no! That's no baby...it's a fetus!
Girl: Wow! Mommy's got a fetus in her tummy!
Grampa Jim: That's right!
Girl: What is a fetus, Grampa Jim?
Grampa Jim: The important question isn't what a fetus is! No, the real question is what it could be! Don't be afraid to use your imagination to wonder about "the mystery of life!" The fetus is your friend. It's like a cloud in the sky- it can be anything you want it to be!
Girl: Ooooh....the mystery of life! So you mean...a fetus could be a kitty kat?
Grampa Jim: Yes! The fetus could be a cute, fluffy kitty kat! It could also be a boat, or a dump truck, or a comic book!
Girl: Wow! A comic book!
Grampa Jim: Yeah! It's a fetus, so the sky is the limit what it could be. Nobody knows until your mommy lets it come out!
Girl: Neat! And here I thought it was just gonna be a crummy little brother!
Grampa Jim: It could be a Hershey Bar, too! Or a catcher's mitt....or a....