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October 26, 1964


JAMA. 1964;190(4):392. doi:10.1001/jama.1964.03070170133025

In view of the overwhelming contagion of Tom Swifties which engulfed the country last year, not to mention the plague of elephant jokes which lumbered across in its wake, we hesitate to mention a new epidemic, this one with its origin in the medical profession of London. It has already entered the shores of this country, however,1 and is at this moment in danger of wide dissemination. The reference is to the game of nouns of multitude ( eg, a pair of shoes, a gaggle of geese, a pride of lions).

Apparently no such nouns of multitude exist for groups of two or more members of the various medical specialties, and so many members have been coining their own: a rash of dermatologists, a hive of allergists, a scrub of interns, a chest of phthisiologists1; or, a giggle of nurses, a flood of urologists, a pile of proctologists, an

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