Jan 13, 2010

Vocabulary building in Narita

Outside a men's room in Narita airport was this sign, noting that there were diaper changing facilities and ostomate facilities inside:

I didn't know what ostomate meant, so I took a picture so I could remember to look it up later.

According to Webster's dictionary:
ostomate (noun): an individual who has undergone an ostomy
Ok, great, another word to look up:
ostomy (noun): an operation (as a colostomy) to create an artificial passage for bodily elimination
So what we have here is a diaper-changing room and a colostomy bag-emptying room. I suppose both of those functions fit together.

The graphic on the sign alludes to the colostomy bag:

I think the "+" sign is supposed to indicate where the colostomy bag attaches to the output port.

I can't say that I've seen this particular sign in US. I'll have to pay more attention and see if they're around.

I've read that Japan has a higher than average stomach cancer rate. One website says:
Stomach cancer is very common in Japan and the Japanese have developed an intensive and effective approach to screening for stomach cancer.
Maybe this would explain why signs like this would be more common in Japan?


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