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I am grateful to hear from anyone who has been reading Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine (APAM) (nee American Journal of Diseases of Children [AJDC]) for 36 years. Obviously, Dr Gross reads some sections more carefully than others, since he addressed his letter to the editor to "Sirs." That notwithstanding, this one woman did her homework and discovered that the use of -al, as in pathological and radiological, is a matter of preference. The exceptions are anatomical, where the -al form is preferred as the adjective, and words such as historic vs historical, where the meaning is altered by the -al. I do hope Dr Gross will continue to read APAM despite our difference in preference. That's -al I have to say.
Catherine D. DeAngelis, MD Editor
The Archives is available by request to nonfederal physicians in the United States (50 states and Washington, DC) whose official
DeAngelis C. Suffix -al Not Needed-Reply. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 1997;151(4):430. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1997.02170410104020