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May 26, 1888


JAMA. 1888;X(21):657-658. doi:10.1001/jama.1888.02400470021006

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"A Puzzled Englishman " complains, in the Philadelphia Medical Times, of the loose statements in English and American medical literature as to the size of pathological objects. Such time-honored statements as "as about the size of a fœtal head," or "about the size of a millet seed," he thinks we can never hope to be rid of before the millenium. On one occasion his interest in a case was kept until it was stated (by the American writer) that something was "about the size of a dollar," when, inasmuch as he had seen only a gold dollar, his interest suddenly flagged. Again he was lost when he read that a tumor was "about the size of a doughnut." Doubtless most American physicians have been equally puzzled on reading that something was about the size of shilling or a half-crown.

Such unscientific comparisons are far too common in medical literature. We have

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