A reader writes:

The other piece of the new Trig-diagnosis story that doesn’t make sense is that I don’t know an ultrasound tech anywhere who would tell a person that there’s an abnormality. I’m bringing this up because I assume you and your husband haven’t been in this situation. They’ll tell you the gender (but they let the doctor confirm it). But no tech doing a real test on something that might be serious would tell you what they see.

They are not radiologists. I’ve had discussions with several stenographers (as they are apparently called in the trade) about this, because an ultrasound will make the patient nervous, just because it’s new data and you worry about what they might see. (In my case, I was recently in getting a test for fatty liver and I immediately wanted to know whether the student stenographer or her coach, who did it separately, were seeing anything. They politely demurred, but we ended up talking about how everybody wants to know their results during the ultrasound and they cannot diagnose or give any suggestions.)

I don’t spend much time thinking about Palin, but whenever I read bits of her narrative on Trig, it just smacks of what my wannabe novelist friends and I used to call book-description. Meaning, you wrote or told something based on information that you got out of a book or somewhere else but that you haven’t really lived it, and it shows. My guess is that Palin has had ultrasounds, but only good ones, which is the only time they’ll tell you anything, and she’s improvising about the rest.

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