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June 24, 1968


Author Affiliations

From the Scientific Publications Division, American Medical Association, Chicago.

JAMA. 1968;204(13):1185. doi:10.1001/jama.1968.03140260025008

USUALLY a blooper—an inadvertent literary blunder—is funny if it happens to someone else, embarrassing if it happens to you. But we are all susceptible to these accidents.

When an unfortunate author writes, "Incontinence has always harassed the perineal surgeon," we know what he means, but we smile all the same. Not "incontinence," of course, but patients with incontinence harass the surgeon. Another surgeon wrote: "However, the most common joint lesions of the gynecologist and the urologist are inflammatory in nature." How did these sentences slip by their authors, to harass them on the printed page? I believe that inadequate revision is responsible.

Here is the way another author sought to report a most unusual happening (he was saved by an alert copy editor): "Many of the deaths from tuberculosis each year are not recognized or reported before death." Unfortunately we are not told how to diagnose death before death, a