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May 17, 1941


Author Affiliations


JAMA. 1941;116(20):2335. doi:10.1001/jama.1941.02820200105023

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To the Editor:—  I was pleased to note that others besides myself take occasion to point out the extent to which medical jargon is used. Both Dr. Spillman (The Journal, January 18, p. 247) and Dr. Royster (ibid., March 8, p. 1022) object to confusing abbreviations and contractions, meaningless diction, misuse of words, colloquialism and errors in grammar and rhetoric in medical speech and literature. In the past, McCrae (The Use of Words, The Journal, July 10, 1915, p. 135), W. W. Keen, Thayer and others did the same.From time to time I attempt to correct the language of students, but the blame should properly be placed on their instructors, including myself, who themselves are often careless in their speech and writing. I have gathered some of the most glaring abuses and have assembled them in an imaginary medical report as follows. It contains more than seventy-five errors or

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