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February 24, 1951

Elements of Human Physiology

JAMA. 1951;145(8):602. doi:10.1001/jama.1951.02920260070027

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This attractively printed and well illustrated textbook is intended for college courses in physiology for preprofessional and professional students. As a whole, the book is excellent; the style is animated, and the treatment of most divisions of the subject is well balanced.

The comments that follow are not so much a criticism of this book in particular as of contemporary textbook writing in general. "Proliferated" is used as a synonym for "elaborated" (page 326), "stimuli" for "nerve impulses" (page 233), "micturition" for "urination" (page 261) and "eunuchoidism" for "eunuchism" (page 328). One need not be an expert in semantics to perceive that, if the tendency thus exemplified continues to the point where every word has two meanings and every meaning two words, communication between teacher and student will be difficult. On page 109 is exemplified the present attitude of helplessness toward defects of color vision; instead of emphasizing the contrasts

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