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December 9, 1968


Author Affiliations

Henry Ford Hospital Detroit

JAMA. 1968;206(11):2526. doi:10.1001/jama.1968.03150110074028

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To the Editor:—  I am as stuffy as most, and stuffier than some, when it comes to the proper use of words. I have heard the anguished wail about "parameter" before (205:870, 1968), usually nodding in pedantic agreement.But now I'm not so sure.Perhaps there are a few instances in which we might use "parameter" to mean a measure "along side of..."One of the glories of our language has been its change and adaptability. Change comes about by popular usage. So long as we're not seriously disrupting the mathematicians' domain, why not use one of their words?Who knows? Perhaps a future dictionary will list: "4. Med..."