Don’t prostate yourself

Be careful getting prostate and prostrate mixed up, it is an unfortunate malapropism. The McVitamins website told us (July 2009 now corrected):

The prostrate is a small chestnut sized gland located just beneath the urinary bladder

No, not quite! This is a very common error. It is now so common that the prostate, the gland surrounding the neck of the bladder in male mammals (which comes from Greek prostates, one that stands before) is commonly misspelled as prostrate. Prostrate means lying stretched out on the ground with one’s face downwards (which comes from Latin prosternere, to throw down). It is also common to find people prostating themselves.

If you Google prostrate you will find several sites for prostrate [sic] cancer. These are either mistakes or deliberate attempts to capture people searching using the wrong term. Also on Google there any many links to individuals who would prostate [sic] themselves before all manner of things but not a bladder.

So be careful! This is an area for embarrassment. Your spellchecker will not pick these up but an editor or proof-reader will.

PLEASE NOTE: I can’t be too flippant about this.  Prostate cancer was the most commonly diagnosed cancer in Australia in 2018. It is estimated that it will remain the most commonly diagnosed cancer in 2022. There were 21,853 new cases diagnosed in Australia in 2018. In 2022, it is estimated that 24,217 new cases will be diagnosed in Australia. In 2022, it is estimated that a male has a 1 in 6 (or 17%) risk of being diagnosed with prostate cancer by the age of 85. If you are a male be vigilant.