I found this sentence on the CDC’s website: “Because no antidote exists for arsine [a gaseous derivative of arsenic*] exposure, the best thing to do is avoid it.”

Really?

I would have thought that the simple fact that arsine is a deadly poison would be sufficient cause to avoid it. But no, apparently that’s faulty logic.

(And my spell-checker keeps informing me that arsine isn’t a real word–along with Gollum and Sauron, for that matter–yet cheerfully accepts Voldemort and Hogwarts as real words. What gives?)

Not that I’m ragging on CDC.gov–well, I sort of am, but all in good fun with the understanding that it is one of my favorite websites–but rather poking fun at our culture that lets a proofreader read that sentence without provoking raging alarm bells.

So avoid the arsine. But we’ve got treatment for strychnine, so feel free swallow as much of that as you like.

*This bit is the Tale-Weaver’s commentary for normal people who don’t sit around reading government-issued Chemical Emergencies fact sheets and books with names like Book of Poisons, and thus might not know what arsine is.

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