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To the Editor:—
I congratulate Dr. Herman F. Meyer for calling attention to misused expressions (J. A. M. A.156:274 [Sept. 18] 1954). The statement "Inanimate subjects cannot have active verbs" has many exceptions. I name a few. The wind blows, rain falls, waves roll in, clouds rise, darkness recedes, shadows fade, night vanishes, light appears, day begins, the sun shines, the mercury rises. Incorrect usage irritates.May I call attention to the following points? 1. The position of words in a sentence is important. In an article adjoining Dr. Meyer's appears the phrase, "my observations also prove." The position of the word "also" determines the meaning as "others' observations prove, and mine also prove." The words "my observations prove also" would express what the author probably intended to say. 2. Ambiguity occurs less frequently when short sentences are used. On page 224 of the same issue of The
Siler CA. MISUSED EXPRESSIONS. JAMA. 1954;156(15):1427-1428. doi:10.1001/jama.1954.02950150049022