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Article
February 21, 1966

SOLECISM AND INSIGHT

JAMA. 1966;195(8):682. doi:10.1001/jama.1966.03100080122041

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Abstract

In matters grammatical even the most careful writer makes occasional boo-boos. Hence, as Samuel Johnson might have said, Let the vitreousness of one's own dwelling inhibit any propensity to hurl objects of fractionizing potentiality. We would not comment on a minor grammatical lapse in an esteemed contemporary journal, had not the error brought out an unexpected latent truth.

In discussing a new book by the noted astronomer, Hoyle, the reviewer declared that Hoyle had become the "leading spokesman for what he termed the `New Cosmology,' spreading the gospel of continuous creation through lectures, articles, and books." (Science150:1708, [Dec 24] 1965.) This, of course, is a fault of coherence. The classical example of this error occurs in the sentence, "Uncle John went out to feed the cows with an umbrella." Uncle John did not intend the cows to eat the umbrella. The sentence should read, "Uncle John went out

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