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June 8, 1907


JAMA. 1907;XLVIII(23):1955. doi:10.1001/jama.1907.02520490047015

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Los Angeles, Cal., May 23, 1907.

To the Editor:  —Although the rank and file of physicians are educated men, it is nevertheless somewhat surprising how many of them who write and speak publicly, tumble headlong into the habit of using the incorrect expressions and spelling employed by others, without considering accuracy. This is especially true when the example is set by an author who is supposed to be authority on English as well as on medicine.An instance of this is seen in the use of the word proven, the past participle of the word prove. In the discussions in medical meetings and in medical books, the word occurs with surprising frequency. This was noticed recently in a medical work written by twenty-two authors, only one of whom used the expression correctly. I say correctly, taking the Standard Dictionary as authority, which under this word proven, reads: "An improper form

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