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Non sequiturs distract as well as detract. They weaken the message. Take, for instance, the editorial by Norman Cousins with the provocative title, "The Toxified Society" (Saturday Review, March 5, 1977). It is informative, cogent, and timely. It highlights the serious problems posed by addictive drugs; it alerts the reader to the dangers of seemingly harmless drugs; and it calls attention to the broader problems of exposure to a toxic environment.
So far so good. Now comes the startler:
Millions of Americans today are going about their daily lives without feeling quite up to scratch. They may be irritable or morose or even depressed. They may find themselves forgetting things. Their energy level is not what it should be, and they don't know what is ailing them.
All these failings can be signs of toxicity.
Are we dealing with "spring fever"? The symptoms suggest it. But the malaise is apparently of
Vaisrub S. Spring Fever, 1977. Arch Intern Med. 1977;137(6):726. doi:10.1001/archinte.1977.03630180010006