June 1964

Salute to "Et Al"

Author Affiliations

909 S Knight Ave Park Ridge, Ill

Arch Surg. 1964;88(6):905. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1964.01310240001001

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Many lamentations have been expressed for the Forgotten Man. Many tributes have been paid to the Unsung Hero. Many tears have been shed for the Unknown Soldier. So far as I know, no one has ever lamented, or eulogized, or wept for "et al." I hasten to say that "et al" may not belong in such illustrious company, and I have hinted at my own conclusions in this regard by capitalizing the former and using lower case letters and quotation marks for the latter.

Who is "et al"? "Et al" is the individual or individuals who come second to the senior author in a joint publication, and acquire this sobriquet when some subsequent author refers to their paper as the work of "John Doe et al." Thus "et al" differs in an important respect from the Forgotten Man, the Unsung Hero, and the Unknown Soldier. He has a name or

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