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November 10, 1962

The "Military Verb"-Reply

Author Affiliations

80 E. 11th St., New York City

JAMA. 1962;182(6):701. doi:10.1001/jama.1962.03050450101029

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Dr. Sinaly's frank frontal attack charms and disarms me, for I am a great admirer of military succinctness. I note with satisfaction, however, that Dr. Sinaly does not deny the existence of the verbal malfunction which I tried to hold up to ridicule. Dr. Sinaly merely objects to my calling the entity the "military verb." Here I am prepared to compromise and suggest the substitute term "paramilitary verb." Since neither is likely to get into future grammars and manuals of style, it really does not matter much.

I am particularly interested in Dr. Sinaly's implied suggestion that the military-paramilitary verb owes its existence to the pernicious influence of Ph.D.'s. This possibility bears further scrutiny, for it cannot be denied that most military medical writers have at some time been exposed to Ph.D. influence. I happen to have spotted the condition only in the writings of military medical men, but I

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