Posted by Bob on November 17, 2004
In Reply to: We love playing fast and loose posted by Bruce Kahl on November 17, 2004
: : : : : : Hi,
: : : : : : I have got some problems with the word "practice" in some contexts.
: : : : : : The sentence is the following: We had research grants from the federal government, as well as a large hospital-based practice that included treating patients who neeeded to have their communications skills evaluated, for instance, after a stroke.
: : : : : : Well, what is practice in this context?
: : : : : : Thank you very, very much for your help.
: : : : : :
: : : : : : Best regards,
: : : : : :
: : : : : : Elaine Pepe
: : : : : : São Paulo/Brazil
: : : : : This from the American Heritage Dictionary On-line:-
: : : : : 4. Exercise of an occupation or profession: the practice of law/medicine.
: : : : : In your sentence, it simply means a group of doctors or medical professionals who, I would guess, probably specialised in speech therapy.
: : : : : For the record, in UK English at least, the verb is always spelled "practise" and the noun "practice" - similarly with the verbal "license" and the nominal "licence" and (the easy way to remember this) the verb "advise" and the noun "advice". I however seem to remember that transatlantically they play rather fast and loose with this rule and probably ignore it entirely, knowing them.
: : : : Only foreigners spell license licence.
: : Coming from England, given the language is still called English, I'm claiming the moral high ground here. One can be licensed to have a medical practice, or can practise hard to get a driving licence. There are no alternatives. Bloody Paul Revere.
: What do you call someone who speaks three languages?
: What do you call someone who speaks two languages?
: What do you call someone who speaks one language?
: "An American".
In this context, the word refers to the business of a doctor (or, in this case, group of doctors.) It's not the "practice of medicine" but what in any other context would be called the firm or the enterprise or the business. Thus we have "practice-building" activities, such as attracting new patients, or "selling the practice" to a younger colleague upon retirement. A "large practice" makes more money than a "small practice," for the person(s) practicing medicine.