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Letters to the Journal
January 4, 1964

Verbal Toys in the "Otic"

JAMA. 1964;187(1):68. doi:10.1001/jama.1964.03060140074031

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Abstract

To the Editor:—  Your word man (JAMA186:138 [Oct 12] 1963), unable to find "tuberculotic" in the vocabulary of medicine in spite of what he refers to as the "fact" that "where there is an '-osis' there must be an '-otic,' " is too easily bemused. Among countless examples, the following nonexistent words spring readily to mind: endometriotic, adenomyotic, thyrotoxicotic, osteoporotic, avitaminotic, hemochromatotic, dermatotic, erythrocytotic furunculotic, dermatophytotic, pediculotic, berylliotic, halitotic, rickettsiotic, and bartonellotic.One might think that my favorite among the missing words would be "pneumonultramicroscopicosilicovolcanoconiotic," but it isn't; it's "reticuloendotheliotic."Can Dr. Gode think of any "-otic" words for which there is no "-osis"? Only two offhand: "polyostotic," "leprotic." Plus, of course, the rather obvious "idiotic."

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