Baloney, Bologna, and quibbling over a definition of “poor response”

The word “baloney”, which is just barely a word, is sometimes used by English speakers who want to say, emphatically, “Nonsense!”.

The word may or may not be tightly related to the word “bologna.” Bologna is a kind of inexpensive sandwich meat, the name of which may or may not be derived from”Bologna”, the name of the Italian city.

Language Log hazarded a discussion of the baloney/bologna mess.

Investigator Ted Alston alerts us to a phrase used in one branch of biomedical science: “The Bologna Criteria”. The phrase figures in this academic paper:

SallamThe definition of ‘poor response’: Bologna criteria,” Hassan N. Sallam [pictured here], Fathy Ezzeldin2, Abdel-Fattah Agameya, Ashraf F. Abdel-Rahman and Yehia El-Garem, Human Reproduction, epub November 23, 2011. The authors, in Alexandria, Egypt, explain:

We read with interest the article entitled “ESHRE consensus on the definition of ‘poor response’ to ovarian stimulation for in vitro fertilization: the Bologna criteria” published in the July 2011 issue of Human Reproduction (Ferraretti et al., 2011). In the Abstract section, the authors state that ‘the definition presented here represents the first realistic attempt by the scientific community to standardize the definition of poor ovarian response (POR) in a simple and reproducible manner’. This statement is also repeated in the Conclusion section. Unfortunately, this is not the case. In 2005, we published our work entitled ‘Defining poor responders in assisted reproduction’ in a refereed journal, listed in all important literature search databases (PubMed, EMBase, etc.) (Sallam et al., 2005). However, our work was not mentioned in the list of references….

Now comes further commentary about the Bologna criteria:

The Bologna criteria for poor ovarian response: the good, the bad and the way forward,” C.A. Venetis, Human Reproduction, epub June 7, 2014.

BONUS: The Canadian Baloney Meter, used to assess political claims