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May 28, 1960


JAMA. 1960;173(4):376-377. doi:10.1001/jama.1960.03020220050013

The invention of a new word is not a unique phenomenon in medicine. Several hundred units of speech are added to our literature each year. If one is addicted to neologopoiesis, autologous in this editorial, two books may be read with profit. The third edition of Ffrangcon Roberts' "Medical Terms"1 has just been published. Perry Pepper's "Medical Etymology"2 appeared several years ago. According to Roberts, "The rapid accumulation of medical knowledge and the changes in medical conceptions make the invention of new words inevitable. Some physicians, however, believe that this process is taking place more rapidly than is justified; they deplore the excessive use of jargon. Some go as far as to complain that many words which they read are not to be found in the dictionaries, but words are not born in dictionaries; they are born in men's minds."

The coinage of a new word that becomes

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