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Article
March 26, 1904

THE TYRANNY OF WORDS IN MEDICINE.

JAMA. 1904;XLII(13):834. doi:10.1001/jama.1904.02490580024006

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Abstract

In his recent volume of lectures on diseases of the nervous system, in the course of his description of a case that he found labeled on the bed card of his clinic "simple neurasthenia," though on the gums of the patient he found a conspicous lead line, Sir William Gowers has something to say of the word neurasthenia and of other words that may cover symptom-complexes, for which it would be much better if the physician should find more definite terms. He says:

The concise and concrete character of the word neurasthenia gives it a satisfying definiteness. This depends to a large extent on its classical and somewhat graceful sound. Not only is it graceful to the ear, but it is grateful to the mind of the patient who suffers and longs to know from what, who longs to have a name for that which he, or more often she,

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