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October 15, 1932


Author Affiliations

Kerrville, Texas.

JAMA. 1932;99(16):1373. doi:10.1001/jama.1932.02740680069032

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To the Editor:  —The word "phrenectomy" is so much used at present to mean phrenic nerve resection that it may be justifiable to single it out from other misused words for comment.The word "phren" is now applied to two regions, the diaphragm and the mind. The diaphragm is not often the site of such disease that any portion of it needs to be removed, but the word "phrenectomy" should be reserved for such a contingency. Since this word should have a definite meaning different from that in which it is being used, such use is not justifiable. In fact, such use is a metonomy too far fetched to be good English and is certainly bad science.The science of medicine requires as exact a terminology as any science. Would it not then be pertinent to suggest that the committee studying medical nomenclature should select new terms as well as

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