Nonemergent
Posted: 11 July 2019 12:47 AM   [ Ignore ]
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I have just come across this word, meaning ‘non-emergency’ with reference to medical conditions. It appears to have been around at least since the early 1970s, and I suspect that the reason that a cursory Google search didn’t turn up earlier examples is that the various databases with examples don’t go back further. I can’t say I like the word, but as it’s been hanging about for a while, isn’t it time that dictionaries picked it up? I am aware that standard dictionaries, even the magnificent OED, can’t contain every specialised technical term, but this isn’t really comparable to, say, ‘esophagogastroduodenoscopy ‘ (also not in the OED).

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Posted: 11 July 2019 03:52 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Emergent is in all the major dictionaries, in the OED’s case since 1891, albeit relating to an emergency is only one meaning (earliest cite in the OED is 1706). The meaning I’m more familiar with is arising spontaneously, as in “consciousness is an emergent property of a complex neural network.” But I’ve read a lot of literature about evolution, which may be why I’m more familiar with that sense.

Google Ngrams has hits for nonemergent going back to the 1880s, but the term really takes off in the 1970s, as Kurwamac notes.

Dictionaries don’t create separate entries for every non- and un- addition to a root, but it seems to me that this is one for which they should. If, as I suspect, nonemergent is mainly confined to the medical field the editors simply may not have noticed it yet. The OED entry for emergent, in particular, is particularly decrepit.

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Posted: 12 July 2019 10:24 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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I’ve heard hospitals advertising their “emergent care” facilities and I wondered whether they eschew the terms “emergency room” and “ER” because of negative connotations (poor people, gunshot victims, etc).

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Posted: 12 July 2019 11:30 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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I’ve never heard that one, but urgent care is quite common. An urgent care facility is for less-serious complaints that can’t wait for a regular doctor’s appointment.

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Posted: 12 July 2019 01:46 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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And what about butterflies that refuse to leave the cocoon?  Are they nonemergent, or just recalcitrant pupae?

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Posted: 12 July 2019 01:55 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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They’re called millennials.

(I actually think complaints about millennials stupid, but I couldn’t resist this one.)

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Posted: 13 July 2019 04:42 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Another, recent, use of “emergent” is the Emergent Church.  This is a somewhat inchoate movement within White American Evangelical Protestantism.  Definitions are tricky with this sort of thing, but as a first approximation it seems to be Evangelicals who vote for Democrats, and seems to be synonymous with Progressive Christianity.  This is not to be confused with mainline Protestants who vote for Democrats.

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Posted: 15 July 2019 12:28 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Dave Wilton - 12 July 2019 11:30 AM

I’ve never heard that one, but urgent care is quite common. An urgent care facility is for less-serious complaints that can’t wait for a regular doctor’s appointment.

Here is a link to a New York provider manual copyrighted 2015 that talks about “Emergency Care” in Chapter 11.  Section 11.1 covers “Emergent Care” while section 11.2 covers “Urgent Care”, so HealthFirst at least makes a distinction between Emergency Care and Emergent Care.  The 2015 time stamp and the New York location coincides with my memory of hearing commercials on New York AM radio.  I was annoyed enough by the term to remember it, similar to my annoyance at first hearing the term “copay” (should be “copayment” in my humble opinion).

http://www.hfprovidermanual.org/details/NY/html/Emergent-Care%2011.1.html

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