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January 21, 1974

Loaded Language

Author Affiliations

Medical College of Ohio Toledo

JAMA. 1974;227(3):326. doi:10.1001/jama.1974.03230160054023

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To the Editor.—  A recent editorial (226:660, 1973) entitled "Loaded Language and Drug Use" suggested that editors should "weed out biased or emotional language from the material they accept." It appears that the writers of that editorial were themselves taking a biased stand. Whether the merit of the issue is with the original author or with the writers of that editorial is immaterial. Whether the use of this approach is considered objective or emotional depends on one's point of view.An author should be free to express his opinions. If an author finds the proportion of drug use in the country "alarming," he should be permitted to say so. If others don't agree, they should be free to express their opinions.Furthermore, excessive modification of an author's paper or the imposition of rigid criteria for language will lead to a phenomenon of which we already have too much.Excessive blandness,