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May 15, 1897

SURGERY ONE HUNDRED YEARS AGO.AN HISTORICAL STUDY

JAMA. 1897;XXVIII(20):935-938. doi:10.1001/jama.1897.02440200025002f

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Abstract

CHAPTER V.—SURGICAL INSTRUCTION AND LITERATURE.  In the first half of the century the physicians wrote more in Latin than in German. At the expense of the substance, they sought with axxious care for classic purity and beauty of diction and guarded themselves, in their Latin, against errors. "Donatschnitzer," the usual expression at that time for grammatical errors. (From the writings of Donatus, a Roman grammarian of about 355 A.D., a system of Latin language was compiled, which served in the middle ages as a guide. Later, a Latin grammar was usually called a Donat.) The national self-consciousness was so weak that for a long time Germans contended as to which language they should write. The one party thought German books did more harm than good, bred quacks and incompetents, and increased the sufferings of nervous people, because every layman could understand the books; therefore it was not well to expound medicine

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