July 1962

An Olden, Golden Rule

Am J Dis Child. 1962;104(1):10-11. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1962.02080030012002

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Mr. Walter Seifert, an Assistant Professor in the School of Journalism at O.S.U., helps us with matters journalistic from time to time. On one occasion recently, after contemplating the verbosity of manuscripts submitted to our journal, he felt the urge to send us a few thoughts on medical writing.

"As medical science becomes more vast and complex," said Professor Seifert, "the need for clear communication is increasingly obvious. 'Communication,' if we see it right, is 'the process of transferring thoughts from one mind to others.' Its purpose, whether written or oral, is to express; neither to impress nor depress. It must seek to make the complex as simple as possible, and to keep the simple, simple. Some medical writers delight in making the simple complex, as if it were a sport to tax the reader's eye and mind. Others tell more of themselves than what they found. The cure for

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