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August 24, 1918


JAMA. 1918;71(8):662-663. doi:10.1001/jama.1918.02600340054016

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Not infrequently one hears, in reproach of modern science in America, that it fails to do its greatest service because the lessons it brings and the discoveries it has to offer are rarely presented in a language that the public at large can comprehend. It is doubtless true that the scientific disciplines of today have developed a special nomenclature that tends to puzzle all but the trained specialist. This progressive enrichment—perhaps some would regard it as an encumbrance—of our vocabulary has by no means, however, been confined to the domain of scientific knowledge. The advances in the arts and the introduction of new inventions have likewise compelled the mastery of new or unfamiliar words to describe innovations that are rapidly engrafting themselves on our daily lives. The telephone, the automobile, the aeroplane and harvest machinery, among dozens of other devices, have added new terms which soon become permanently established in

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