Thursday, 18 October 2012

Nationary Pituitary Awareness Month Pituitary Awareness Quiz

Even the most ardent readers of my blog will probably have forgotten that October is National Pituitary Awareness Month. Oh yes, ladies and gentlemen - that happy time is here again! Try to contain your excitement, please.

Last year, I looked at some of the other National Months that are held in October; this year, I felt like doing something different. But pituitary glands are tricky things to raise awareness for, especially considering that approximately eighty percent of Britons can't even spell the word "pituitary", let alone point to its location in the body.*

And then it hit me.

Fortunately, I wasn't seriously injured.

Dear readers, it's been over a year since I started this blog. Some of you have been here from the start, some of you have joined me along the way, and some of you typed "piglets in a teacup" into Google and arewondering how the hell you ended up here.** Believe me, I'm wondering too. But I feel quite strongly that all of you should have increased, improved and frankly incredible knowledge of the pituitary gland as a result of reading this blog, and now you will finally have the chance to prove it. And so, I present: The National Pituitary Awareness Month Pituitary Awareness Quiz! It's not sanctioned by any healthcare professionals, and it's not recognised as a professional medical qualification anywhere, ever - but the winner will gain both bragging points, a delightful poem about how wise they are, and my eternal respect.

Here's how it's going to work: For the remainder of the month, I will post one (probably multiple-choice) question about the pituitary gland every day.*** To be in with a chance of winning, simply post your answer in the comments section. Correct answers gain you one point. At the end of the month, I will leave a day or so for anyone who wants to join in to answer all the questions, then I'll tot up the points and announce the winner and write a short praise poem about how awesome they are.

Here's the twist: correct answers gain one point. Answers (however wildly incorrect) which include something that amuses me - a pun, rhyming couplet, accompanying picture or just shameless flattery - will get two points. Because life's not fair, and neither is my pituitary gland.

If I get more than five comments before the end of the month, I will count this quiz as a wild success, so please join in!

National Pituitary Awareness Month Pituitary Awareness Quiz
Day 1 - Question 1

Q.1:  Acromegaly is a rare disease caused by a growth-hormone-secreting pituitary tumour, which can lead to gigantism and excessive growth of the body's tissues. But what language is the word "acromegaly" derived from, and what does it literally mean?

Is it:

a) from the Latin acro "extremity; member of the body" and magnus "large"

b) from the Greek arka "repository; hidden place" and megaras "growth".

c) from the Greek akros "highest; extremity" and megalos "large".

It's an easy-to-Google one to start you off. Fly, my pretties, fly!

* Warning: spurious fact alert.

** This is actually a genuine search that somehow resulted in my blog
coming up. I have no idea why

***In theory.


  1. Clearley d) from the English acro: of or pertaining to something that combines acrobatic elements with that of something else, me: as in myself, and galley: A light, open boat used on the Thames by customhouse officers, press gangs, and also for pleasure.

  2. e) It's from Proto-Germanic *akros "field" + *magan "be able to, have power", based on the perception that exceptionally tall people were able to plough a whole field by themselves.

    (NB I'll waive out of the competition, as two praise-poems in three years is a lot to ask for without employing you as my bard.)

    1. Haha, amazing! Of course you know I'm always happy to write you more praise poetry... or even praise prose!

  3. c)
    Just going for one point today and hoping to gain more with subsequent answers that are more suited to my expertise!