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November 11, 1899

Correct Use of Words.

JAMA. 1899;XXXIII(20):1237. doi:10.1001/jama.1899.02450720053018

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Chicago, Nov. 4, 1899.

To the Editor:  —The former usage of the Latin word sutura, and its English derivative suture, always had three meanings: 1, a seam, or the line of union made by sewing parts together; 2, the seam-like lines of junction of the cranial bones; 3-in surgical use—the thread used to make the row of stitches composing a suture.According to the best authority the Latins did not apply the word sutura to a single stitch. For the latter they employed a phrase of two words signifying "a passage of the thread." There was also a rare word, punctio, for stitch, but it almost never appears in their literature.When our medical ancestors dropped the Latin and began to write their works in English, their dignity, or perhaps their pomposity led them to feel that the use of the word seam was too much like the low phraseology

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