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Did you try "trepanation"?

The alternative spelling "autotrepanation" is a lot more popular. Er, I think I missed the point. You can delete this now.

Bedtime
Saturday, February 21, 2004

I didn't know about that spelling. My dictionary definitely says "trephination" is the correct spelling (of the main word).

Also autotrepination just results in hundreds of links from google spammers. I wonder why google hasn't started banning those schmucks before it gets too bad.

Joel Spolsky
Fog Creek Software
Saturday, February 21, 2004

The far more interesting question here is, why would anyone want to drill a hole in their own skull?

I know surgeons do it people sometimes for various reasons, but its doesnt strike me as something suitable for self administration. I mean, what if you sneeze and drill a hole in your frontal lobe.

Eric Debois
Saturday, February 21, 2004

Some people, and indeed some ancient customs, believed that drilling holes in your head would deform the skull structure, and thus allows the brain to grow bigger and becomes more intelligent. This theory was even used once in an episode of "The X-Files".

Lawrence
Saturday, February 21, 2004

I think your dictionary is wrong.  The tool is definitely a trepan, I have this on good authority from a neurosurgeon in training.

I remember reading a really interesting article a few years ago about a group of LSD users who thought drilling holes in their head would make them permanently high.  They even made a home "how-to" movie of using a power drill to open your skull.

bob jones
Saturday, February 21, 2004

"(Auto)trephanation" and "(auto)trepanation" seem to be slight variants of the same thing. My American Heritage Dictionary refers to the trephine as the surgical instrument and trepan as an alternate form of that term. Webster's Encyclopedia Unabridged Dictionary clarifies further, asserting that the trepan is "an obsolete form of the trephine". So maybe autotrepanation is what folks used to do in, say, medieval times, while autotrephination would apply to one who performed this strange act today using modern medical instruments? Heh.

I'd drag out the OED to see if it can offer further illumination, but I'd sooner engage in autotrephination. (Used it in a sentence, do I get bonus points? ;-)

John C.
Saturday, February 21, 2004

According to my copy of Concise Oxford, a trepan is the implement and a trephine is an improved form of a trepan - with guiding centre-pin!

Robert Cowham
Saturday, February 21, 2004

Check out this trepanation page:
http://www.bmezine.com/news/people/A10101/trepan/

Jay
Sunday, February 22, 2004

That puts my Case Mods to shame!


Sunday, February 22, 2004

Wow!  I thought I had seen everything.  That is one of the most disturbing things I have ever seen.

Roose
Sunday, February 22, 2004

And here I was thinking Dremels were only good for cutting aluminium!

Eric Debois
Sunday, February 22, 2004

When you only got 1 result did you add it to Googlewhack?

Neil Roberts
Monday, February 23, 2004

No because googlewhack requires two dictionary words.

I did add "pothunting trephination" which was a googlewhack.

Now it won't be.

Joel Spolsky
Fog Creek Software
Tuesday, February 24, 2004

There are nine now, mostly descended from Joel's comment.

Howard Weisberg
Thursday, February 26, 2004

Joel, I think you forgot about this movie:  http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0099611/ Even though I haven't seen it personally, my wife tells me it has autotrephination galore.

Aaron F Stanton
Sunday, February 29, 2004

I need this like I need a hole in my head.

KH
Sunday, February 29, 2004

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