In Impromptus today, I speak of “the routine killing of unborn baby girls in China.” I later say, “When I was growing up, people hated it if you used language like ‘unborn baby girls.’ The going phrase was ‘meaningless blob of protoplasm.’ I don’t know who came up with that phrase,” but “he or she ought to be rich from royalties.”
A reader writes,
. . . Just last night, I was watching a rerun of Night Court. In this particular episode, several women are in labor while stuck in the court because of a hurricane. One couple shows a sonogram picture of their unborn baby to a group of people. The parents-to-be say something like, “Look how beautiful.” Dan Fielding, played by John Larroquette, retorts, “What, the blob of protoplasm and a spleen?”
Yes, it was a common phrase, back in the day . . .
Haven’t heard it much lately, though. Maybe I am not running in the right circles?