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May 19, 1962

JUST WORDS

JAMA. 1962;180(7):549. doi:10.1001/jama.1962.03050200033014

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Abstract

In this issue (p. 532) The Journal begins a new feature on words; more specifically, on English words; still more specifically, on the medical writer's use of English words. The general title of the new feature is "Just Words." This is meant to be a pun. It represents, on the one hand, an English adaptation of the weighty French phrase, le mot juste, implying a search for sound usage, and suggests on the lighter side that nothing more serious than just words will be considered—this latter not without irony.

Words have in common with the weather the facts that they are always with us, that they are always available as topics of discussion, that almost everybody considers himself an authority on the problems they involve, and that little is done to help their cause.

The importance of their cause is not doubted by anyone. Human society—and, hence, man's humanity—depends on

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