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April 18, 1966

Excessive Standardization Of Medical Writing

Author Affiliations

Brooklyn, NY

JAMA. 1966;196(3):299-300. doi:10.1001/jama.1966.03100160149053

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To the Editor:—  Have you ever picked up a journal, opened it, read half way through the first page, then, losing patience, riffed through the summaries of everything else in the book? Have you ever thought why you did this?In recent years much has been said and written about medical writing. Discussion of style has been scant. Let us consider this aspect of the situation for a brief moment.I do not say that every man writing an article should be able to equal the literary quality of a Thoreau, a Poe, or an Osler.I do think that the average paper should be interesting and readable. It should not have the aura of having been spewed forth by some computerized Orwellian character.I do not object to brevity and clarity. I do object to such standardization that each work appears to have been cast from the same mould

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