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February 14, 1914

Stethophone, Not Stethoscope

JAMA. 1914;LXII(7):553. doi:10.1001/jama.1914.02560320053034

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To the Editor:  —Nonchalantly to say that one is wrong is one thing, but to be correct in saying so is fortunately another.In The Journal, Dec. 20, 1913, p. 2260, I offered the word "stethophone" as being a better word than "stethoscope." I gave my reasons for the preference and I thought that I had perused my dictionaries sufficiently to be correct in the matter; but in The Journal, Jan. 3, 1914, p. 57, Dr. A. Rose took exceptions to the word, saying that my dictionary was wrong. He also criticized my use of such hybrid terms as "auriscope" and "dictaphone." As to this, I should like to say that I used these terms to make my point clear: that instruments by the use of which we hear should end in the suffix "phone," while instruments by the use of which we see should end in the suffix "scope."

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