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July 1920


Arch Derm Syphilol. 1920;2(1):68-69. doi:10.1001/archderm.1920.02350070073011

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To the Editor:—  One of your humble readers, and perhaps all of them, would like to know which is the proper spelling: leucoderma, leukoderma or leucodermia; leucoplacia, leucoplakia or leukoplakia; leucemia, leucaemia, leukemia, leukaemia or leucocythaemia? While awaiting your official decree the reader above referred to would beg to offer a few comments on the question, not of course with a view to influencing your opinion but merely for what they may be worth.Uniformity in the spelling of medical words is extremely desirable but unfortunately there are no rigid rules to guide us and common usage is always arbitrary. The question might be correctly answered by quoting the statement of one whose name I do not recall: "You pays your money and takes your choice."At present there is a tendency toward the curtailment of unnecessary syllables and the elision of diphthongs, which seems to meet with general approval.

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