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July 9, 1960


JAMA. 1960;173(10):1160. doi:10.1001/jama.1960.03020280100027

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To the Editor:—  In science, art, and industry, the descriptive terms such as very pale, very light, brilliant, light, moderate, and medium suggested in the letter by Dr. Appel in The Journal, April 23, page 1971, may be adequate and acceptable, but the concern of a teacher or of a writer is to describe color to students, as well as to the conference of the experts, in a readily understandable way. Scientifically, it is appropriate to use the terms very pale, very light, brilliant, very brilliant, moderately brilliant, and dozens of varieties of the kind because eventually the scientist will refer to his Munsell Book of Colors or the ISSCC-NBS Method of Designating Colors.If one is to stick unequivocally to science, one should not use the terms carbon-dioxide snow, orange or olive color, butterfly rash, rusty sputum, ivory white, or map-of-Maine and map-of-California hyperpigmentation because the student may come

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