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Article
February 22, 1941

SEMANTICS OR THE TYRANNY OF WORDS

JAMA. 1941;116(8):779. doi:10.1001/jama.1941.02820080119025

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Abstract

To the Editor:—  I note in the January 18 issue of The Journal Dr. Ramsay Spillman's comments on the use of initials in his own specialty and further his distaste for the use of EKG, though as he states "out of his own field." To him it suggests a Teutonic flavor.I was one of the earlier students of the electrocardiograph in this country and the first to establish a modern cardiac laboratory in the state of New Jersey. It never occurred to me, however, that there was a Teutonic flavor to the initials EKG, for as a matter of fact the K might as well be Dutch. My knowledge of this language is practically nil, but I depend on the fact that while temporarily acting as ship's surgeon on a Dutch liner the sign on my office door read "Dokter."We all have our antipathies, and I mention here

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