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To the Editor.—
The frequent improper use of Latin and Greek endings in the Archives prompts me to write in the hope that corrective measures might be taken to prevent the perpetuation of such needless mistakes. Adjectives must agree with nouns in number, case, and gender, accomplished by the use of specific endings. One of the most frequent mistakes stems from the failure to realize that the suffix -ma is neuter (Greek), not feminine (Latin). The following three examples taken from the January and February 1970, Archives illustrate improper endings (incorrect gender).
The article by Kram, Erythrokeratoderma variabilis, should be variabile (Erythrokeratodermia variabilis is acceptable, however).
Butterworth and Graham's article, Linear papular ectodermal-Mesodermal hamartoma (Hamartoma moniliformis), should be hamartoma moniliforme.
In a "Letter to the Editor," Yaffe coins the term Lichen pilaris actinica. The noun lichen is masculine and the adjective should be actinicus (eg, lichen planus).
Shapiro L. GREEK AND LATIN ENDINGS. Arch Dermatol. 1970;101(5):621. doi:10.1001/archderm.1970.04000050125026