The oblongata still continues to furl my brow.
There are a lot of un-examined RBTI materials still out there. Reams' rather curious take on oblongata will clarify one day. Michael Olszta has wrestled with the problem and may some day have a better answer.
If today's student of the literature stands back and examines the long-ago student of Reams' classroom enough, they start realizing the class students are guilty of being awe-struck and failing in their duty to always understand Reams when he made mistakes, mis-speaks, or told jokes. How can we blame them? They were being inducted into a science beyond the ability of medical science to fathom, then or now. How can we blame Reams? He was surely bored with day after day introduction of real science into fad-heavy skulls.
Yes, there are numerous examples of Reams mis-speaking and some brave student pointing out a juxtaposition or boo-boo. Reams always sincerely thanked them. However, I contend there were many more cases where they did not do their duty and screw-ups passed into the transcriptionists' hands. We have to somehow discern these long ago aggravations and root them out.
Perhaps my biggest complaint concerns cases where Reams told jokes or "let the devil get in me." For instance, he frequently chuckled when he told of the worm-eaten, almost-dead kitten that was saved with a K-Min salve he whipped up in the bathroom. The woman owner had insisted Reams "do something" at a very inconvenient time for him. Being a softie, he did provide the cure for the cat, but he told the woman that the salve had to be re-applied exactly on the hour, every hour---a huge inconvenience for the woman. He knew the salve would do the job if only applied a couple of times a day, but "the devil did get in him" and he freely confessed many times later to classes. It was all a joke and I, for one, appreciate a good joke.
A joke instance I picked up in the Ag classes concerns a student who evidently did not know that nematodes are microscopic worms that attack plant roots. Our student asked a dumb question about their nature and how big did they get. Reams, having fun, responded that they were reptile-like "snakes" and that they "get six feet long." No one in the class said, "Come on, Reams, you are having fun with us." The poor non-Ag transcriptionist later probably had no idea what was going on and failed to note the class chuckles. No doubt the ignorant student went home and swore to many that "this god-like man proved nematodes are real snakes and can grow up to six feet long." This could be how lots of urban legends get started.
Anyway, my point is that Reams said we should use common sense. That applies to our efforts to prepare lessons, literature, or explanations for modern RBTI students. When we see poor or out of date English in dusty transcriptions, we should improve things. We should not mindlessly parrot decades old confusions, even if they come from "holy writ" like the ARM or CLOD. We can do better and I expect he would be proud of us for doing so.