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To the Editor:
In few areas of practice is failure to formulate precise questions as noticeable as in refraction. How often do we hear the exasperated shout from the refraction lane, "Which is better, this or this?" Better than what? Better in what way? When the patient answers, "This is," which "this" does he mean, and does "better" have the same significance for him as it does for us?As experts in a hurry we may lose sight of the patient's almost complete ignorance of the technique of refraction and his anxiety to give the "right answers." Ambiguous and confusing questions result in ambiguous and confusing answers with resultant long refractions frustrating to physician and patient. On the contrary, to questions such as "Are the letters clearer with choice one or choice two?" or "What effect does this lens have on the letters?" there are almost always clear, short answers
Herm RJ. PRECISE LANGUAGE. Arch Ophthalmol. 1964;71(2):292. doi:10.1001/archopht.1964.00970010308034