Cookie policy: This site uses cookies (small files stored on your computer) to simplify and improve your experience of this website. Cookies are small text files stored on the device you are using to access this website. For more information please take a look at our terms and conditions. Some parts of the site may not work properly if you choose not to accept cookies.

Join

Subscribe or Register

Existing user? Login

Leonardo, not Da Vinci

  • Print
  • Share
  • Comment
  • Save
  • Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF

My local NHS hospital currently has an appeal for funds to support the purchase of a “da Vinci Robot”, which will apparently enhance keyhole surgery because it will “enable our surgeons to continue to be at the cutting edge of their profession”.

Now I like the concept of surgeons at the “cutting” edge — isn’t cutting what their profession is all about? And with the financial problems facing the NHS, the campaign is no doubt in a good cause. But I found myself discouraged by the brand name chosen for the robot by its manufacturer.

The name “da Vinci” is clearly  intended as a tribute to that genius of the Italian renaissance, Leonardo da Vinci. But “da Vinci” was not his name, since surnames in the modern sense were not in use in his time. His full birth name was “Lionardo di ser Piero da Vinci”, which identifies him as Lionardo, the son of a gentleman named Piero from the Tuscan hill town of Vinci. He is properly referred to as “Leonardo” or “Leonardo da Vinci” but not just “da Vinci”.

The robot’s manufacturer is not alone in misusing “da Vinci”. It has been used as a trade name for various other products featuring alleged technical innovations and also as the name of many Italian restaurants and coffee bars.

But perhaps its most annoying use occurs in Dan Brown’s 2003 mystery-detective novel “The da Vinci code”, which has become the world’s best-selling novel, despite being one of the most poorly written literary works of all time. (Apart from being crammed with religious and historical inaccuracies, the book demonstrates an appalling prose style and an inept vocabulary — right from its opening words.)

Anyway, I have now made my contribution to the hospital’s “da Vinci Robot” appeal. But I might have done so more willingly if it had been a “Leonardo Robot” appeal.

Have your say

For commenting, please login or register as a user and agree to our Community Guidelines. You will be re-directed back to this page where you will have the ability to comment.

  • Print
  • Share
  • Comment
  • Save
  • Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF

From: Beyond pharmacy blog

Take a look here for thoughts and musings beyond the pharmacy realm

Newsletter Sign-up

Want to keep up with the latest news, comment and CPD articles in pharmacy and science? Subscribe to our free alerts.