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Article
October 10, 1896

THE MANIA FOR PROPER NAMES.

JAMA. 1896;XXVII(15):821-822. doi:10.1001/jama.1896.02430930041006

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Abstract

Several of our foreign exchanges are protesting against the practice of rendering the study of anatomy more difficult by encumbering the text books with the names of parts of the body which neither describe nor locate them, but merely commemorate the name of some obscure anatomist. The boast of the student now is that he can quote more proper names than the rest; but they are of no benefit to him in locating the parts designated by them. How much better to call it the anterior sacro-dural ligament than Trolard's ligament, for instance? It is a longer name, but it means something, and enables the student to place it at once.

In surgery the abuse passes all proper limit. It is not only perplexing to enumerate the various operations, but in many cases a name has been hastily applied to an operation not devised by the person named. It is

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